It’s been 10 weeks since the last time we saw Report card day in this neck of the woods. 10 weeks of homework, tests, daily grades. 10 weeks of thinking about this day coming up. When I walked out of the science lab and saw my 4th grader walking down the 5th grade hall I knew something was wrong. She didn’t say anything but her face said so much.
You see I had just gotten my report cards to hand out to my own students so I knew but the look of fear in her eyes and the slow long steps she was taking to my end of the hallway that my 4th grader had gotten her first B!
I knew it was coming. Her father and I warned her that school would get harder and she would struggle more and more. We told her it didn’t mean she wasn’t smart or that we weren’t proud of her, it just meant that she would have to work harder. She was so upset. She felt betrayed and not just by herself but by her teacher and by her father who didn’t yell at her.
She felt like her life was no spiraling out of control and this was the beginning of the end. As I walked her back to her class I asked if I could have her report card so I too could see that grade…that B. I must admit at first glance I myself was shocked…we aren’t talking about one of those B’s that almost an A like and 88 or 89. No this was one of the B’s that a B anyway you look at it. You couldn’t even round it any way, this was an 84.
Like all days do, this one went on even with a tear stained face on a 4th grader. Every time I saw her in the hallway I gave her a hug and asked her how I was doing. She was very quiet but would give me a small smile and I’m not sure if that was because she was happy to see me or she had forgotten about that evil letter for just a few seconds.
I talked to the counselor about how it could have happened, how my perfect daughter could bring home such a grade. I talked to the principal about how to approach talking to the teacher (seeing as how she is a friend of mine). I had a meeting with the hubster after all the girls were tucked in about how we wanted to handle this. We were gathering up our armor ready to go to battle for our little girl. We were ready to fix this because while I knew a B was always coming none of us were ready for it yet. None of us were prepared.
Then it hit me. I need to just let it B. This day was going to happen and it did, and even though some tears were shed (I really gotta stop crying in my principal’s office) some lessons were learned too. So the world isn’t always perfect. Sometimes we fall and we have to pick ourselves back up. Sometimes we have to learn that even though we think we know it all we really don’t and would she probably study for that test.
So the hubster and I dropped our weapons. We set up a better system to find out about these awful invaders into our perfect world so we would be prepared next time. We told Veronica she was strong and how proud we were of her. We held her tight while she got out all of her fear and anger over the Report Card. And you know what interwebz, the sun will come up tomorrow. She will go to GT and laugh and play with her friends, sure she might feel a little bit beaten down from the battle that almost was but she will also feel stronger from the anticipation. She will B ok.
She bounces into my classroom and I grab her report card, it’s the first one of first grade you know. There it was, a B. No chance for this girl to ever have All A Honor roll, no chance it have “that first B”. I looked at her and simply said “Danielle, you got two A’s and a B” . She replied with “A B? I got a B?” Then she turned around and bounced her way out of my classroom and to the car.
A few minutes later when we picked up her big sister she announced with eyes filled with pride “Veronica I got a B too!”