Yesterday was the last day of Brooklyn's swimming session. The teacher gave me her report card at the beginning of class and I eagerly opened it to see what new skills Brook had mastered and what we needed to work on together. Other than a note telling us we needed to do the same level again it was blank. If you have taken swimming lessons at the Aquatic center you have seen these report cards...they have a list of skills with two check boxes next to each one. One box says "Pass" and the other says "Needs Practice". Nothing was marked. As I looked over the skills I realized why nothing was marked; the teacher didn't teach half the stuff on the list! Seriously? She worked on skills that weren't even in the next two levels and skimmed over about half of the skills in her current level. I had been wondering if she was teaching the right skills for that level, but didn't want to say anything about it unless I was sure. She was really a very nice girl and the kids loved her, but it just seemed like she was treating it more like a summer camp than swimming lessons. So when I got the report card and realized that the reason she needed to repeat the class was because the correct skills were not taught to her I went to find the manager. I told her the situation, showed her the report card and asked to have Brooklyn evaluated to see what level she needed to be in. I was willing to have Brooklyn repeat that class if that is where they said she needed to be, with a different teacher of course. The head instructor got in the water and went through the list of skills with Brooklyn. At several points the teacher was met with a blank stare of confusion as she named a skill for Brook to show her, so they really got to see what was and was not taught. After seeing the teacher do the skills Brook was able to do them and the instructor said we could go to the next level! Yay!!! I made sure that they really thought she could handle the next class and weren't just passing her because I was there...that was not my intention. I really wanted to know what level she was so we could put her in the proper class. Having taught gymnastics for 7 years I have seen the effects of moving a child up to a level they are not ready for and I have also seen the effects of keeping a child in a class that they are too good for....neither are good.
Moral of the story folks: Speak up! Have your child evaluated if you believe they are in the wrong level of any class...in the long run it will save you time, money and frustration and will keep your child from boredom or feeling like a failure.