Looking Beyond the Grade

Kim and I went to school to meet with Luca’s teacher. She placed a manila folder on the table and walked us through the curriculum for third grade. This was our first time to meet with her since the first day of school.

We listened as she went through each subject and explained to us how Luca was progressing and made suggestions such as books she may enjoy reading. She was organized and concise. I could tell she cared about our daughter.


Luca loves school. She wants to perform well and takes pride in her work. Although I’m not certain how important letter grades are at this stage of her schooling, we encourage her to do her best and the grades will follow. Her teacher confirmed this was the case, and that made us smile.

But that’s not what made me the most proud.

I was most proud about a comment her teacher made near the end of our meeting. After we discussed the curriculum, test scores and grades. I don’t want to say it was an afterthought, but it wasn’t one of the items in the manila folder with a checkmark out to the side.

The teacher said, “I enjoy having Luca in my class because she’s kind and respectful to her classmates and teachers”.

Respect and kindness are not part of the WASL, ACT or SAT exams. And they may not determine which college she attends one day. Turn on the TV and you’ll see many examples of people who have made it to the top of their professions by being anything but respectful and kind.

But there’s nothing a teacher could say about Luca that would make me more proud than I am today.

5 thoughts on “Looking Beyond the Grade

  1. In our increasingly social culture the qualities of kindness and respect may well carry her…and congrats. It's always reassuring to hear those things.


  2. That's the best payoff, isn't it. I had some teacher stop me in the mall the other day and tell me how much she enjoyed Spencer.One of the big pluses for reading your posts include the beautiful pics that come with them.


  3. What a beautiful little girl and a great post. I don't have kids (unless cats count) but I can understand your pride. Recent studies show that the ability to get along with others can often influence our careers even more than scholastic aptitude. Luca is off to a very good start since it would appear she possesses both an amiable personality and the desire to do well in school.


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