One day last week I noticed a ZERO written at the top of Jays final history test for the marking period. It might as well have had flashing neon lights around it. I was horrified and shocked and kinda sad too.
So … I emailed his teacher.
I told her how surprised I was by the grade and that I was concerned about it. I told her that I had helped him study and that he had done well on the small quizzes leading up to the test so I just didn’t understand what went wrong. I reminded her that we had a meeting already scheduled so it would be nice if we came to the table already armed with ideas.
And … She wrote me back.
She said that she was confused by my email but offered suggestions for what she can do if I think he needs testing modifications.
I was less than thrilled with her reply. Why was she not as concerned as I was? A ZERO should set off alarm bells.
Also … I spoke to Jay.
I asked him what went wrong. I made sure to tell him that he wasn’t in trouble. I just wanted to help him. He offered no useful insight. He said “I just forgot everything I guess.”
This morning we had the meeting and after hearing about how happy he is in school and how much he participates and how well he follows the class schedule and how funny he is and how much they enjoy having him in class and after being told that he had been featured in the school announcements for being the artist of the week, I brought it up … What about his academics? I wanted to know what they or we could and should be doing to help him to get better scores on tests.
After a little back and forth and trying to figure out where each other was coming from it turns out that my boy did not get a zero on his test afterall. He had in fact gotten 100%.
The zero I saw was the teacher marking the test to show that zero points had been taken away!!!
We all laughed at this mis-understanding and I felt a huge relief and then I felt really badly that Jay thought he had gotten a zero when in fact he had gotten all correct.
I can’t wait to see him later so I can let him know that it was my mistake and to let him know how proud I am of his hard work and the glowing reports from his teachers.
As I said in the meeting, I wish I could take his current report card and show it to his 1st and 2nd grade teachers. I want to take his report, full of mostly 3’s (B’s) and just a couple 2’s (C’s) and show it to everyone who knew him back when he was crying and screaming all day long. Everyone who knew him when he was 6 years old and couldn’t write his name or count or sit through one class period. Everyone who knew him when he had IEP’s full of therapy and accommodations and behavior goals. All that’s been taken away. He now has no behaviour goals because there are no behavioral concerns. No pull outs, no therapy, not even extra time for tests. His current IEP basically is a one liner that says the special ed teacher will be available as a consultant to the general ed teacher if necessary. Academically he has the same goals as any typical 4th grader.
He still has some things to work on. Mostly word problems in math and he needs to start reading some higher level books but overall, I’m so happy with all that came out of our meeting.
Rock on little homie.