Funny, here I am in my 50s and I still remember that and feel slighted. But my grades, that was a way to prove that I knew the material, and a comparison to others of how I was doing. Silly really, because I loved Geometry and knew that I had learned the material. I didn't need a teacher to tell me. Intrinsic learning or learning for the joy of it was there, but I was raised in a graded culture and I wanted that proof that I knew my stuff.
But what if students didn't get grades but learned as part of life? What if knowing you were growing and learning was enough? Would you be willing to send your child to a school that didn't grade? It is possible to be schooled through high school without grading in comparison to other students and to go on to and graduate from college. My two daughters did it.
The A1C test, the average blood glucose over the past three months, is a number held as a type of grade of BG control by doctors, parents, and patients alike. Every three months we present our devices, the office downloads the data, and looks at the A1C, our report card. But, it tells such a limited story and is held up for admiration or hidden from others in fear of judgement, It is shown as a badge by some - "Look, I've reduced my (child's) A1C. Look how low it is. Look at the good job I'm doing". Why do we feel the need to compare ourselves to others? We are all doing the best we can day by day. We know how we are doing. I am shooting for near normal BG for my son, and some days, I don't get close. I try again tomorrow.
In the book, Sugar Surfing, Dr. Ponder talks about his early management of T1D and that instead of a number, there was a color chart, each color signifying a range of A1C. I wonder if that wasn't a healthier way to communicate control. Obsessing over 0.2 or 0.4% change when there is a range of error permitted of 0.5%? Reigning in the competitiveness by saying you're somewhere in the blue might be more supportive.
I'll admit that ditching a grading system would be hard for me. I know that the standard deviation, the range of numbers, is as important if not more so than the A1C. Yet, I know that when I go to the doctor, I'll wait nervously for that number, unable to shake that feeling that it will define our dedication. I'm still waiting for that 100%.
Notes: I will never adjust to the need for one space after the period. I learned on a typewriter from a book in the dark ages. (Monks sat next to me hand lettering.) Now, I must go back to adjust spacing each time publish a blog because I put in two spaces where there should be one. It is automatic.
A fluffy, mangy, red cat is hanging out in our barn. Anna says he looks too thin. I can't catch him. Don't want another cat, don't want him to starve.