FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Do you have a question about your middle or high school student’s studying practices? S4 Study Skills, an area leader in providing evidence-based study skills and test preparation workshops for students, will answer questions from Daily Voice readers. If you have a question, please submit it here
Q: What Should I do with the information in my child’s report card?
Sylvia D., Norwalk
A: Getting report cards can be quite stressful for students. This is because of the fear of what may happen when a parent opens the envelope. What did my teacher say about me? What are my parents going to do? What if I didn’t pass? Parents know, just as students know, a report card could change things. A report card is a benchmark that reveals what the next steps are in academic improvement.
Whether the news is great, or leaves a lot to be desired, report cards provide a perfect opportunity to assesses and analyze what one needs to do to get where one wants to go.
Just as a doctor can diagnose a specific ailment through testing, the report card can be used as an investigative tool. Is homework being completed? Have assignments been well prepared? Is there class participation? Some of these answers might be detailed in the report card, but it is also important to read in-between the lines to determine if there’s a general pattern in the quality of work being done. The report card helps to illuminate the areas where a student may have has fallen short, and what improvements need to be made.
If the news isn’t great, determine why. What can be done to overcome the weaknesses? Make a plan to fill in the gaps and get the necessary support. If the news is great, take advantage of the results to explore new areas of opportunity, gain new experience, and build a resume.
Either way, good news, or bad, the report card provides opportunity to make a difference in one’s academic performance and skill development.
Michelle Sagalyn is the President of Successful Study Skills 4 Students, which is based in Southport.