Sunday, 4 January 2015

Is Your Glass Half Full or Half Empty? #ASMSG

Last summer we received my son’s school report. End of Year 4 in the primary school, he was ten years old. His marks per subject were pretty much what we had grown to expect – very strong academically, just about getting by in activities. However, the overall commentary from the teacher came as a bit of a shock. He was labelled as something of a sociopath (my word, not the teacher's) – "needs to be more tactful, is uncooperative, a loner". We thought this might have been mentioned during the school year, at PT meetings, in notes home to us, maybe even a phone call or an email, but it hadn’t.

I know my son pretty well. He’s a chip off the old block. Very attentive to detail, studious but impatient, strong with figures and language but reacts badly to criticism, mediocre at all sports - (focusses intently on one thing at a time), not too interested in investing energy in friendships. A bit of a lone ranger. Well, as they say here in Ireland, he didn’t lick it off the stones. He and I, we may well both be somewhere on a behavioural spectrum but life has been, is and will continue to be good. After a few minutes of “that’s my boy” we went hunting for his report for the previous year.

The individual subject performance was virtually identical, although it had been a different teacher. The overall commentary was full of positivity, encouragement and hope. Strangely it said exactly the same thing as this year. Except for last year’s teacher the glass had been half full. This year’s teacher was a glass half empty character. We asked our son what his opinion was of this year's teacher versus last: “She didn’t like me, the one this year. Last year’s teacher was much nicer.”