I received my Grandparent School Report this week at the end of my second year of grandparenting. I was eager to see how the teachers assessed my performance for the year. Here’s what they said.Dear Grandpa,
Congratulations on completing Year 2 of the Grandparent School education program. Below are the details of your performance for the year for working with your grandchildren. Summarising, you tried hard…but you can do better.
Playdough: Encouraged the children and assisted in solving their problems, but showed limited creativity. This is not really your skill area.
Lego: Excellent at building tall towers and creative structures.
Shops: Seemed to avoid this activity whenever you could and left this to Grandma
Art (singing, music, drawing): Tried hard at singing and playing the piano, but seemed discouraged by the mess involved in painting and drawing. Fortunately, Grandma excelled here, meaning the children were not handicapped for life by your limited skill.
Reading: Enthusiastic book reader, but children seemed to prefer Grandma, especially on creative stories.
Teaching: Excellent at real-life skills such as lawnmowing, vacuuming, car cleaning, juicing. Children showed enthusiasm, but tired of these activities more quickly than you. Need more focus on entertainment element, rather than just learning. More variety would help.
General play: Children enjoyed your risky adventurous approach and your willingness to get on the ground with them. But OH&S standards were breached on many occasions and parents might not have appreciated seeing their children played with in such a roughhouse way. ‘They learn by making mistakes, getting hurt’ is not an appropriate principle these days.
Changing nappies: Seemed to avoid this necessary activity whenever you could and left this to Grandma.
Cleaning up: Very enthusiastic at this, not just at the end of the day but also during the day. Seemed as if you were anxious for the children to depart.
Videos, pictures for parents: Took some excellent pictures occasionally. Parents would have appreciated more though and a video per day is now expected standard practice.
While you are keen at the start of the day, you seem to tire rapidly. But you showed dogged determination to get through the day and you did cover for Grandma’s sleeps and absences. Showed an impressive lack of use of technology (TV, phone, tablet) to control the children. You could be more flexible with the children’s rapid changes of interest.
Once the children got used to your attempts to terrify them, eat them, manhandle them etc, they came to enjoy this ‘terror’ aspect of their day and even smiled sometimes. You seemed to want to treat them as rational adults, rather than pampered pets, which was disappointing, since this is your second year now and rationality is not appropriate at these ages.
Difficult to assess your unique style. Psychologists may be needed for the children to recover in 10-20 years’ time.
You seem to have the ability to offer many more skills, if you would apply yourself more. It may be necessary for you to attend at least 3 days a week of Grandparent School Year 3, to ensure that you gain competence at National Standard levels for the whole range of required skills.
Have a happy holiday! We look forward to having you back in 2019.
Tayla and Avalon
Year 2 Teachers