Thomas Edison, inventor of the first phonograph, the electric light bulb and the first motion picture camera, was famously quoted as saying “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” Success seems to have a lot to do with hard work and less to do with early school promise if Edison’s childhood is anything to go by. In school, the young Edison's mind often wandered, and his teacher once referred to him as "addled.”
In recognizing the need to encourage and reward effort, Brentwood has, for many years, given students an effort rating at each marks period on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being excellent and 1 likely to trigger a visit to my office. Though somewhat subjective in nature (for example teachers rarely get to see students doing their work outside of the classroom) the effort rating has a rubric that is meant to encompass class participation, quality of work, level of preparation for tests and willingness to go beyond the expectations of the teacher to produce work of exceptional quality or creativity.
Commendation at the end of each term is marked by a recognition card in the report envelope and, perhaps more importantly, being on The List. The commendee list includes Grade 9 and 10 students with an average effort rating of 3.8 or higher and Grade 11 and 12 students with a 4.0 rating or higher. This past term there were 270 students, well over half the school population, who were considered to be working at a commendable level. Very few students dip below an average of 3.0 (3 being a wholly acceptable effort) but ratings of 2 can point to areas where the student is having trouble with the learning process and as such these 2s are very useful indicators of where extra support from advisors, teachers and counselors can be most effective.
For some, the most important and certainly the most rewarding part of being a Commendee is the Friday night bus trip to Victoria, a night free off prep to watch a movie or have a meal with friends.
I highly reCommend it!
Mr. David McCarthy, Director of Academics