255, 233, and 186 — and 180

Dear Terrence,

We’ve talked several times about how your behaviors in class make it difficult for you (and unfortunately, others around you) to get the education you really need and deserve. I’d like to think that our discussion of MAP scores and where you fall on the grade continuum based your score was sobering, and sometimes I see evidence of that. Together, we can change some of those behaviors that make it difficult for you to succeed.

We’ve talked several times about how your behaviors in class make it difficult for you, but we’ve never talked about how your behavior out of class makes it difficult for you to keep up with some classmates. If you want to improve your basketball game, you play basketball. If you want to be a better rapper, you rap more. If you want to be stronger, you work out. And so if you want to improve your reading, what must you do? Simple: read more. But I think there’s more to it than that.

My daughter just took the MAP test. She’s in first grade, six years old. She was nervous about the test, wanting to do her best, fearing she wouldn’t. She told me her score when I picked her up, and soon I was easily reassuring her that she did just fine. See, her score at age six was 180, just six points below your score. You’re more than twice her age, and you’ve gone to school for 800% longer than she has, yet she almost matched your score.

Why?

We’ve talked several times about how your behaviors in class make it difficult for you, but we’ve never talked about how your parents’ (or more likely in your case, parent’s) behavior out of class makes it difficult for you to keep up with some classmates. You see, we read to our daughter daily. We read with our daughter daily. Our daughter sees us reading daily. I would bet you don’t experience any of that and possibly never have — at least not to that degree. So that leaves you at a further disadvantage.

Don’t worry: you’re capable of overcoming this, but it will require just that little bit more effort.

With hope,
Your Teacher

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