I’ll be the first to admit that my end of year report wasn’t always the best. In year 8 and 9 I completely underperformed – there were too many distractions and I simply didn’t care enough to put the effort in. I remember my Dad taking me for a walk and talking to me about it. It wasn’t anger. It wasn’t even disappointment. It was a frustration that he knew I could do better.
As a private tutor, I’ve seen many students in the same position – not realising their full potential. Bad reports can happen, and the reality is they probably won’t come as a surprise to your child – he or she will be fully aware that they didn’t apply themselves 100%. BUT, that doesn’t mean it won’t upset them. I remember trying to pretend I didn’t care, but deep down I did. I wanted to top my class. I wanted to make my parents proud. I wanted to make me proud!
Here are 5 tips to handling a bad report card:
1. Understand it probably upsets them. Even if they don’t show it.
I think this is really valuable to remember. Getting angry at them will probably only further their feelings of failure. When we mess up, we don’t usually want someone rubbing it in our faces. You might be mad – you’ve spent time and money supporting them with their schoolwork – but try to turn that anger in to something constructive.
2. Remind them what they are capable of.
Find some sort of achievement of theirs that happened in that same year, like a sporting trophy or a good mark in an assessment task. It is really important to remind them that they are capable of achieving great things, even if this report might not show it.
3. Convey the value of education.
A lot of the time, a poor report will come because a student doesn’t apply them self in class. Highlighting the importance of school, and perhaps discussing where they eventually want to end up (as a career or at University), will help them to see the significance of their education.
4. Identify the problem.
Try to find out what the issue is. Was it that they didn’t understand something in a class? Was it that they were too distracted sitting next to their best friend? Or was it an issue with the teacher? Identifying the problem is crucial in moving forward and improving those results.
5. Offer to help.
As you begin to think about the following year, offer to help them in whatever way they need. This could be in the form of helping them with their homework each evening. Or it could be getting them a maths tutor or English tutor. Having a private tutor work with your child makes such a big difference as it is someone there on their side helping them along the way. Get in touch today to discuss how we can help you find the perfect tutor.
Dealing with poor report cards are never easy – but use them as a teachable moment, just like my Dad did all those years ago!Considering a tutor for your child? We can help! We have amazing tutors ready to go that will help your child grow in confidence, love the learning experience and ultimately realise what they are capable of. Learn more here and book their first lesson online today!