Monday, November 23, 2009

Andre's 2009 report card

Another school year has ended. I would rate Andre's academic performance as fair. His final exam this year showed me quite distinctly where his strengths and weaknesses are. While I don't want to put any labels on him, it's apparent that he needs help in his languages - both English and Chinese. For both, his spoken language is better than his written language.

Andre's science is ok but I still find that his strange perspective sometimes gets him into trouble. For instance, there was this question in the science paper:

Mr Ting brought a mystery animal to class and asked this pupils to guess what it was. The clues are listed below.
  • This animal is covered with fur.
  • This animal eats meat and bone.
  • This animal can run and jump on land.
  • This animal can swim in water.
  • This animal can be kept as a pet.

Name the mystery animal.

I mean, it's quite obviously a dog, right? This is what Andre wrote: "The mystery animal is a platypus."

I went in despair, "how on earth can it be a platypus??"

"I didn't know a dog could swim!"

"It's a pet! How can a platypus be a pet?"

"I thought you could keep it in a tank."

Maths was the only subject he achieved a Band 1 and it was probably this that saved him. He managed to get into a reasonable class next year and I'm thankful for that. His results are not spectacular but I know they could have been worse. Moving ahead, we will need to put in more effort into his languages to build on his foundation and make sure he doesn't slip further.

Meanwhile, this was what his teacher wrote in his report book:

"Andre is a diligent and responsible student who shows a positive attitude towards his work. He readily accepts feedback on his weaknesses and works towards improvement. This can be seen from his enthusiastic nature in class over the semester. A warm, cheerful and caring boy, he takes initiative to extend his generous assistance to his peers and this makes him a well-liked student amongst his classmates."

Andre was very encouraged by what she wrote - I think it's great of her to focus on his attitude instead of solely on his grades. I'm praying that he will be blessed with an equally enlightened teacher next year and be motivated to keep learning.


YY said...

You know, one of my kids is extremely intelligent and can score well with relatively little effort. But all these years, I would have been SO much happier if I could have heard the following adjectives described of him/her, such as 'diligent and responsible', 'readily accepts feedback', 'warm,.. and caring', 'well-liked'.. He/she was just intractably the near-opposite of those attributes.

To me, integrity and responsibility trumps exam scores ANY DAY. You're fortunate that both your kids have the kind of character I would want my kids to have; I suppose you and hubby have provided them with an optimum environment of nurturing!


Karmeleon said...

My son said that the teachers are tasked to be positive in their comments in report books these days. ;-)

monlim said...

YY: Thanks so much! In this academically-centred environment, it's sometimes hard to remain focused on character traits. Comments like these help us maintain a balanced perspective.

Cheng: Maybe but most teachers still tend to include something negative, so I'm very thankful for this teacher.

YY said...

Haha, you'all should read Winston Churchill's notorious school report here from 1883, aged 12.

"... latterly has been VERY naughty.."

"Math: Greatly improved, but very uncertain."

"French: Not very good."

"Weak in geography."

"Drawing: Very elementary."

"General Conduct: On the whole he has improved - though at times he is still troublesome."



Anonymous said...

I thot it's a beaver of sorts. It took me a while to id the animal :) Not many pple have seen dogs swim right?

I'm happy that you know where to focus on moving forward. It's already half a battle won.

All the best & happy holidays!


monlim said...

Thanks PeaTH! Happy holidays to you too :)

Lilian said...

Andre is the funniest! Platypus, I almost choked from laughing! But he's not wrong, maybe someone like Michael Jackson could have kept a platypus as a pet in Neverland right? So email the teacher and demand for that extra mark hehe...

Wonderful report on Andre, he's a good kid with a kind heart, little wonder he's so popular. As YY said, you are blessed with two great kids, and as the saying goes, the fruits don't fall far from the tree!

monlim said...

Lilian: I didn't ask him how come he was so sure a dog couldn't swim but a platypus could do all of those things like run, jump and swim!

Thanks, thanks for the wonderful compliments :)

Puzzled by Puzzles! said...

I know why! He must be secretly hoping to have a playtpus as a pet as in Phineas & Ferb. :P LOL!

monlim said...

Sandy: I asked him, he says he's never heard of Phineas & Ferb. But you know, you're right to blame the cartoons - talking animals, strange pets, who's to know what's reality any more! LOL

Puzzled by Puzzles! said...

He has never watched P&F? I think he will love it. This is for him! (Perry is the name of the pet playtpus)

monlim said...

Sandy: I just saw the vids with my kids, they're hilarious!! We love the second clip especially :D

bACk in GERMANY said...

Mon, that teacher's a gem. So encouraging. Though teachers are tasked to write pc stuff, one can tell she knows Andre well by the sheer number of words she put on the report card.

And if anyone knows you or Andre, he'll know that the teacher did not just write pc things. And yeah, teachers only talk about grades if they know nothing else about the child to talk about.

monlim said...

Thanks Cindy! I noticed too that she wrote a lot, which is no mean feat considering she has to write for over 40 kids. So it's great to see the dedication and effort she has put in :)

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