New Articles

August 31, 2011

Marks for Citizenship


My son is quickly becoming acclimated to the first grade. Here, as opposed to Kindergarten, he has his own desk, his own mini-locker and rotating science/social studies classes. Also new this year...a grading system. 

Thankfully, my dear boy is a good student. Academic skills come easily to him. As is the case with many other little boys, the discipline to have consistently good behavior doesn't come as easily. When my husband and I attended this year's school orientation meeting, we learned of an assessment category entitled "Citizenship." Simply, this involves conduct and behavior. 

Does the student talk at appropriate times?

Is the student able to demonstrate self-control?

Is the student respectful to teachers and classmates?

Does the student appropriately care for school property and supplies?

Is the student able to responsibly follow instructions?


You get the idea. Clearly, this would be a challenging grading category for our first grader. 

As I thought more about it, though, I realized that these expectations should really be the norm for us adults, as well. The more I thought about it, the more I wondered what our own, grown-up Citizenship Marks might be.


Did I carry on a side conversation in a work meeting, while someone else was presenting in front of the larger group?

Did I force my preschooler off of the playground and into the car, just because I could and because it was easier than explaining the reason why?

Did I interrupt anyone today?

Did I try and fold the laundry and catch the news, while my child was obviously needing a question answered?

Did I turn in my project feedback on time?

Did I remember my friend's birthday?

Did I make time to build lego animals with my child?

Did I really listen to my employee's concern and think, before I responded?


Believe me, these are real-life, grown-up examples of Citizenship, for which we are all earning our marks. I'm certainly encouraging my son to live up to his school's Citizenship expectations. I'd be well-served to expect the same of myself.


Related content



Editor's Choice Videos