Saturday, March 10, 2007

Over-Praising the Children

Other comments Ms. Evaluator crossed out (didn't say why they weren't OK, just that they're not ok):

  • Amani is good at math, although sometimes she gets sloppy and says she doesn't know something even when she does.
  • Ann is a good writer but doesn't like writing very much.
  • Lucy needs to be careful about taking her frustration out on other children.
  • Lamar contributes a lot to class discussions because he thinks on a very high level. (?)
  • Jessie understands concepts quickly but gets really upset with herself if she can't do something perfectly the first time.
  • TJ likes math best but is also improving in reading. (???)
Let me make it eminently clear to all worried parents out there that all report card comments had many positive remarks as well as specific recommendations. Apparently, though, it is unacceptable to imply that the child might be anything less than perfect. Is it because I'm white and most of these children are black that it is so offensive to mention areas in which they need to grow? Or are we never supposed to insinuate that they may have areas for growth?

There is an interesting article about over-praising your children. Children need to be told when they do something wrong, as well as when they do something right. Praise means nothing if they don't deserve it and if they have nothing to work for.


1 comment:

Jessica said...

(The annoying "we" thing: using the Royal "we.")

I don't get this; she sounds like a lawyer. (Lawyers typically don't want to say anything that isn't objectively verifiable, because it can be held against them in court. Consequently saying, "your daughter is brilliant!" would be bad if the mom took you to court and said, "but you said she was brilliant! Therefore the F she got in 4th grade must be the teacher's fault"....)