It was indeed exciting for the Ballerina to win a 1st Place trophy in her dance competition last week. The organisers of the Eisteddfod encourage the winners to write a thank you letter to the sponsor of their section, as they generously donate the trophies and medals. So an appropriate card was found, what to say was discussed and a letter of appreciation was written. All was good.
Then, unfortunately this good news was tempered somewhat by a letter that arrived from her dance teacher. This letter accompanied her Grade 5 Exam results. Her teacher felt compelled to write to me so that I could be prepared.
"Charlotte will be very upset with her exam mark, as I am" the letter read. "I myself was in tears and very bewildered as to what has happened" The letter goes on to explain her teacher's disbelief, disillusionment and in fact self-doubt at Charlotte's result, (which is several levels lower than her previous standard) and the "overly harsh" comments of the examiner. She has contacted the organisation to discuss her concerns, both over the phone and through a letter. She has been informed that she was not the only teacher to have been affected by this particular examiner's reporting.
It was a very emotional experience. Both dealing with the fallout as my precious daughter struggled to comprehend what had happened, and reading the full page letter written by my child's ballet teacher. A letter filled with feeling and concern, potent with anger and empathy. I am saddened that it has made her doubt her own teaching and judgement, but as a teacher myself I know that it is very difficult to not take things such as this, personally. It is reassuring to know that your child's teacher cares about her student's feelings and future.
I am so proud of the way my Ballerina has dealt with the situation. She is bitterly disappointed, but secure in the knowledge that she is a good dancer, and this is merely the opinion of one person. Take the good with the bad and move on. Big lessons to learn.