First semester in my district came to a close yesterday. All my students’ grades have been shipped to the front office. Though there is a sense of satisfaction in closing the book on first semester, for me that feeling is mingled with malaise.

Everything I planned, taught, assessed and scored, all those hours communicating with students and parents has been distilled down into one letter. Think about that. A, B, C, D, or F. It all comes down to one of these options.

And this is a powerful letter! One will open doors for students. Another will close them.

And here’s where I struggle. What letter would you give this number?

57 percent

When I first started teaching, I would have thumped my fist on the table and confidently declared, “An F!” That’s failing. And that means no credit.

I don’t feel that way any more.

Aren’t there other circumstances in life where you can do half the work and get half the credit?

  • If I get half the items done on my chore list, I am halfway done.
  • If I pay off half the credit card, I don’t owe as much money.
  • If I read half a book, I have met all the characters.
  • If I eat half of my lunch, I get half the nutrients from what is consumed.

So, what should a student get for 57%?

I really want to know your take. Leave a comment below.

4 thoughts on “What Letter Would You Give This Number?

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