Ungraded 2020 Student

Dear future teacher,

The year is 2020.

We treated each other like equals and held each other accountable. We ate our snack when we were hungry and went to the bathroom when our body said so without asking for permission.

On some days, we threw out the schedule because we needed to say somethings with our chest and that takes a lot of time.

We negotiated homework, we were honest and explained how pointless it was . On some days we gave up. We complied. We kept the peace. We were tired.

We were woke! We spoke about racism and the radicalness of feminism. We questioned protests and we discovered that some things had to be done, by any means necessary.

We explored our privilege and unpacked it. We checked our teacher and held her accountable for when she acted like a dictator. We lent our voice to those who needed it. We spoke truth to power.

The learning was messy and exhausting on some days. We hated the mandatory testing. We did organise a petition along those lines but COVID-19 happened.

We were distraught because everything came to grinding halt. This was our last year of Junior school. Some of us were slowly warming up to the end as we transition. Some of us were worried that we would never truly be free to learn what we chose and what we wanted as senior school would be all serious and no play.

A lot of the learning that I am doing now you will never document and assess because it doesn’t lie within the confines of the specific subject areas. I can assure you, I did a lot of learning. I looked after my brother who had a high fever, I prepared meals for my family this week, I had to go back home and live with my grand parents on short notice. I am not in touch with many of my friends and I cannot wait for this to end.

I’m sorry that none of this can be reflected in the benchmarks or the grade level expectations. These life lessons couldn’t be captured on the report card and could never be learned within the confines of the school walls.

I especially enjoyed opting out of lessons and ignoring your emails because I had a lot going on that day and your assignment could wait.

I did what was important, I did what I had to do- survive…

Yours truly,

Ungraded 2020 student



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