So as school finishes for another year, I don’t mind betting that at least 95% of parents have received a school report (or two, or three) in the last couple of weeks. How was yours? Something to smile about? Something to celebrate? Did you reward your kids for their effort and their good grades?
And, like all true 21st century social media addicted parents, did you shout about it on Facebook?
When I received two perfect school reports (and I mean PERFECT, not quite good, not very good), I was blown away once more by my kids. Not by their natural intelligence and talent, but by the fact that they still work and try their best. They don’t need to, they’d still get top grades, but they don’t take that attitude. Oh, and they try just as hard in sport, music, art and ICT as they do in English and Maths. I really couldn’t have been prouder.
Did I go and write about it on Facebook immediately? No I didn’t. I didn’t want to appear smug. I didn’t want to rub it in the faces of all the families who didn’t get perfect school reports.
But then I looked at Facebook and everyone was writing about the school reports: ‘So proud of little Johnny’ ‘Well done to Timmy for an excellent school report’ etc etc.
So what did I do? I followed suit. Because I’m a sheep. Because I wanted everyone to know that my kids were as good as theirs. And, if my kids ever asked (which they wouldn’t, but you know, they might), I wanted to tell them, yes, I congratulated them on their school reports on Facebook. Even though they’re not on there. Even though they will never read it. I wanted them to know I’d publicly shared my pride, not just privately. Even though privately is most definitely the best way to do it.
How does that make the parents whose children aren’t in the top third of the class (who are, shock horror, in the BOTTOM third of the class – because someone has to be) feel? Not all kids are achieving two years ahead of where they should be, some are achieving a year or two behind. What acknowledgement do they get in their reports and on social media?
If those kids are achieving their own potential, they should be celebrating. Their teachers should acknowledge their progress and their hard work in the reports, as well as other important qualities like kindness, friendliness and helpfulness. And those parents should share their pride on Facebook, if that is what they want to do.
What do you think? Is Facebook and social media the right place to share our thoughts on school reports, is it a case of my space, my right to say what I like or should everyone have more consideration for others’ feelings?
I had genuinely not planned to blog about my kids’ school reports this time. There’s nothing I could say that I haven’t said before, but exchanges on Facebook made me look at them from a slightly different angle.