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Nothings certain but death, taxes … and report cards
Life has other certainties besides death and taxes. For teachers that includes completing report cards. It is with a sense of satisfaction and completion that I report that the second trimester has ended. Report cards reflecting student progress during that time were sent home yesterday.
While I’m sure some children couldn’t wait to show their parents, others have that report card still hidden in their backpack. Students are anxious about the parental response.
They’re looking for praise and guidance even if they can’t articulate that.
Teachers and parents hold kids accountable to perform at the level their abilities dictate.
Bosses hold employees accountable for doing their best on the job. Significant others hold each other accountable to give the relationship their best.
Life is full of little report card moments. How accountable are you to your own progress? Two months of this new year have already been completed. We’re one sixth of the way done. What have you checked off your list of goals to complete this year?
Several classes checked science fair off their “to do” list. After six weeks of in depth study of the scientific method, the science fair display boards were exhibited for all to see. These long term projects helped students learn time management by chunking timelines down into smaller sequential deadlines. They also learned about controlling variables and collecting data.
The sheer joy of completing a long term project is worth celebrating even in light of the disappointment some experienced at not being chosen to represent the school at county competition.
Another item on many folks’ list is meeting with their tax care provider. I have colleagues smiling about getting money back and others griping about the taxes they owe. I’ve put off making my calculations, but ignorance isn’t bliss. It’s time to figure out who’s owed what.
Life has few certainties except change. The ups and downs become the rollercoaster ride of highs and lows that remind us we’re alive. Times of relative calm are often viewed as boring until something big transpires.
At the loss of my dog who’s been with me for 15 years, I wish I’d have had one more “boring” walk with him. Experiencing the peaks and valleys, makes the plateaus all the sweeter.
So whether you’re dealing with death, taxes or your child’s report card, know that it’s one of many events woven into the tapestry of a lifetime. The artistry of your weaving is in large part a direct result of your response to the events that transpire.
If the report card isn’t what you’d hoped, what needs to change? More quiet study time and less TV? Maybe you have to stop taking your child’s word for it that they’re work is complete and start checking to make sure it is.
If you’re comfortableness has made you complacent and unmotivated to accomplish things on your list, then perhaps it’s time to engage a friend. I’m reminded of Winnie the Pooh characters.
My exuberant friends, like Tiger, get me moving. When I need to slow down, reflect or simply grieve, my slower, methodical, morose friends, like Eeyore, are the ones I choose.
While life holds few certainties, we will die and so will our pets. Enjoy each other while you can. Our country is in financial woes so taxes will continue to be assessed, take more withholdings if you end up owing. But most importantly take time to reflect on your progress and chart a new course.
The student’s report card reflects not only academic progress, but marks for behavior and effort as well. Take time to give yourself a report card not only of what you’ve checked off your list, but of how you’ve handled the things others unexpectedly put on your plate. How would you score on the report card moments of your life?
Kristi McCracken, author of two children’s books and a long time teacher in the South Valley, can be reached at email@example.com.