Friday, October 22, 2010

Highly Motivated and Cooperative

Report card grades of N's or U's require a comment.  One of my favorite ones to use, especially for kids that are not top notch students, but work hard is "Highly motivated and cooperative.  Today I was told (I'll say who told me here) to only use that code for kids who have gotten "E's"  Basically I was told that if a child was truly motivated and hard working, he would be getting 90's not 70's.  I disagreed.  I have students who are always prepared, always volunteer to go to the board and are constantly going for extra help, yet they only squeak by with 70's. 

So, I am looking for some feedback.  I asked a room full of teachers today if they thought it was acceptable to use this comment with a 70 student and all present agreed with me.  But, I would like some additional comments.  Please let me know if you think this comment should be reserved for the 90+ kids.

12 comments:

Sweet Tracie said...

I think highly motivated, works hard and cooperative' comments for students who are struggling are fine. I have used something similar for my students who 'always try their best too.

For the students who are extremely gifted and advanced, I tend to go with a different comment to show a variety of learners in the class. I don't know what the codes are in the high schools, but if there are 'exceptional', 'outstanding', or 'striving'....I would save those for the 90+ kids.

Anonymous said...

I SAY YES!! This is the comment I use for my at risk students and my students with disabilities! I wish you could see how motivated they are to solve and equation and finally get a right answer! Motivation comes from witin not from a grade!

Miss Eyre said...

How about #12 (I think)? "Shows a great deal of effort." That's my go-to for the kids whose grades aren't stellar but work hard and have good attitudes.

Pissed Off said...

That one is good too. But, is there anything wrong with saying they are motivated and cooperative?

Ricochet said...

I have kids barely passing who are motivated and cooperative - and kids who "get it" and have 90s who make little to no effort, disrupt the class, and are boorish.

veteran teacher said...

Nothing wrong with it at all. I also use this code for the kids who struggle to learn because it reflects what the student brings to class - A real work ethic. These comments are meant to give parents a better idea of childrens' school behavior. I don't know who told you not to use that code (how many years did that person spend in the classroom?)but it's another erosion of your autonomy.

Anonymous said...

Certainly it's valid for the right 70's-students. This goes to the core of the insanity that is sweeping the nation.

We went from the noble goal of leaving no child behind . . . to a law that required that all children must be on grade level (one of the most preposterous acts in the history of the U.S. Congress) . . . to the assumption now implicitly held by most of the country that if a child is not on grade level it can only mean that either he or his teacher must be goofing off. This conviction drives most of the nonsense that now threatens America's schools.

Barbara said...

I wish we had that comment. I think it is completely appropriate for kids who get 70's. We have some unused codes at my school, and I am collecting suggestions for additions. This is a keeper.

Miss Eyre said...

Sorry, I should have clarified that, for the record, I don't see anything wrong with your reasoning or the use of the comment. Who knows--maybe seeing that comment will be the next extra push they need to keep moving forward?

Anonymous said...

I was told by admins many, many years ago to ALWAYS start with a positive comment. What you are saying is the truth and the person who told you otherwise is just looking to yank your chain. In fact, this conversation should not have come up at all. My former principal wanted to know why I gave a student a 4 in Reading Effort when he only read 3 books from Sept. to the end of the Oct. marking period while others who got 2s and 3s read more. Well, that student read Harry Potter books while the others read simple paperbacks and weren't motivated nor did they meet the required standard for comprehension.

KarenS said...

I agree completely that that is a fine comment, whether the student receives 70's or 90's. Your administrator's disapproval of it reflects the "reform" movement's assertion that all students have the same level of natural ability and that with the right teacher, they all can (and should)be A plus students. Hence,your use of that positive comment shows that you do not have high enough expectations, and that your low expectations have resulted in low grades. Twisted logic, I know, but I bet I'm right.

Margaret said...

I love that comment and find it perfectly appropriate! I use a similar one myself for those hard-working nice students who end up with a not stellar grade.