More about Report Cards
Beginning with fourth grade, we had the more traditional report card. However, subjects still did not have individual skill categories, and there were no teacher comments.
Below are three grade-related anecdotes which all happen to be from Junior High.
In Latin class, we were seated alphabetically in desks and chairs that were permanently attached to the floor. At the end of the quarter, the teacher would go down the rows , her record book open and read as follows: Dorothy Corson: 98, A; A in effort; B (strongly stressed) in conduct. I always got that B in conduct because I would whisper to those around me! Luckily only the subject matter letter grade appeared on the report card. There was one overall conduct grade and effort grade on the report card, but I don’t know who figured out that one grade or how they did it. Actually for conduct it was either just an S or a U, and I managed to get the S. I actually don’t recall any other teacher commenting on our effort or conduct, or even giving us a numerical average. Just Miss Thornquist, the Latin teacher.
In Junior High, the teacher could also issue a “Poor Work Report” at any time during the marking period, but most often mid-quarter. It would describe the problem in detail and go home for a parent’s signature. A friend and I thought it would be really funny to make out fakes ones for each other. I’m not sure where we got the blanks, but the teacher found out. Once again it was the Latin teacher, and she said, “It you want one so badly, I can give you an official one!”
In the 50’s, for quarter grades, a master sheet was circulated for the subject teacher to fill in the grade. The master sheet then went to the home room teacher to transcribe to the pupil’s report card. When I was in 8th grade, my home room teacher noticed that I had all A’s except for a B in art. Miss Umlah went to the Art teacher and said something like this: “Dorothy has all A’s except for Art. I’m sure she tries her best. Couldn’t you just give her an A for her effort?” And the Art teacher did, and for most of my remaining junior and senior high school years, I got all A’s.
© Dorothy C. Judd
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