OK, parents, I need some input. And if you happen to be a teacher, I especially want to hear from you.
Krystal’s second grade class was given an assignment during the first week of school to create an “All About Me” poster to share with the class. Each student will have a week during the school year where they are “Student of the Week” and their poster will be featured on the classroom wall. Some suggestions for items to include were their favorite things (color, food, books, movies, etc), pets, family information, baby pictures, what they want to be when they grow up, etc.
I bought Krystal a poster board to use, and helped her brainstorm categories to include, but otherwise left her to her own devices. Her poster has meaningful content and it looks like it was done by a 7 year old.
On the handful of occasions I’ve been in her classroom since, I’ve taken note of the student’s poster featured. It was obvious to me that one of two things was going on. Either Krystal’s classmates are exceedingly artistically gifted, or they had significant parental help. I don’t know about you, but I’m inclined to go with that second option.
And I’m feeling really conflicted about this!! Krystal has not expressed any dissatisfaction with her poster in comparison to anyone else’s. When I saw the first one, I did comment to her that it looked like that student had lots of help from a parent, and she agreed. I’ve kept my mouth shut about the others since.
I feel like I did the right thing, in letting Krystal run with the bulk of this project. I honestly feel like I walked the tightrope between offering support and guidance while letting her have creative control. But I can’t help feeling inadequate on her behalf when I see the other posters. Look, I know this is second grade. And her teacher is seasoned – she knows what 7 year olds can and can’t do on their own. But will she feel like Krystal has a parent who doesn’t care because her poster isn’t as polished as others? Or will she be relieved that at last a student did their own work?
How the hell am I going to handle the high school years??