Mapping

Dear Terrence,

I know how disappointed you were not to make your goal today. I also know how irritated you were when I showed everyone later the RIT/grade-level correlation chart that indicates you’re reading level is approximately equivalent with a third grader’s.

Grade Fall Spring Growth
1 160 173 13
2 179 190 11
3 192 200 8
4 201 207 6
5 208 212 4
6 213 216 3
7 217 219 2
8 220 223 3
9 222 224 2

Perhaps “irritated” is not the right word, for you seemed simply angry.

In a sense, I can certainly understand this. It must be a terrible blow to your self-confidence to realize how far behind the curve you are with your reading ability, and I know from your false arrogance in most matters how little self-confidence you really have.

But I’m confused: if you’re so concerned about this, why the disruptive behavior in reading class? If you’re so worried about this test score, why the complete lack of effort? The two just don’t seem to go together.

I can understand being upset about a test score if you’ve worked hard all year, if you’ve felt you’ve made a genuine effort at improving, only to find you haven’t improved at all. That would be heartbreaking, and I would be hard-pressed to come up with anything more than empty platitudes. But you’ve done next to nothing all year, always with the same excuses: “it’s too hard” (which is difficult for me to understand how you could make such a judgement as you did after glancing at the work for no more than ten seconds) or “I’m tired” (which is not difficult for me to understand considering what you pump into your body in the name of food).

Would you expect great things if you got on a bike to ride a leg of the Tour de France having never trained? Would you expect to hit a home run at your first at-bat if you’d never practiced? Would you expect to put on a great musical performance if you never rehearsed?

So how could you expect anything more than you got?

With frustration and confusion,
Your Teacher

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