Boston — Last week's school improvement suggestion called for every pupil in every school to do a daily chore -- something connected with school maintenance, repair, or material support.
Younger children, it was suggested, should be supervised by older youngsters, and those whose chores had been faithfully and intelligently done over the years should get to have the more prestigious jobs, like running lawn mowers and trimmers, waxing machines, vacuums, and other motorized equipment.
This week, the suggestion is to have exciting and interesting chore reports.
No, not adding the word "chores" to the present report card form and marking it with letters or numerals. Instead, every child should receive a written chore report containing two sets of comments and two signatures, one from the student supervisor, one from the adult supervisor.
The recording of these comments on permanent folders can, of course, be a chore carried out by older pupils.
But each chore has its own needs and standards, as well as those qualities of promptness, efficiency, cheerfulness, thoroughness, etc., which should be tracked for every chore assignment.
And it's really only in a written comment that a supervisor can get across to one of his workers how well (or poorly) he has carried out his assignment.
By accumulating these chore reports, it will be possible for the new supervisor (when new chore assignments are given out) to look to see what has been noted in the past and work toward helping each new child for whom the supervisor is responsible to keep up good work habits and to get rid of bad ones.
If wastepaper is to be picked up before 9 each morning and taken to the refuse room before 9:15, and first-grader Maryanne is consistently late, then when she is put on the dusting detail in the library for five minutes during her noon break, her new supervisor may be able to help her plan her time so she can be prompt as well as cheerful and cooperative.
Now, the major reports should be written by the pupil-supervisors, with just a note from the adult, probably a janitor or secretary corroborating what the older youngster has said, or adding something special --particularly when a youngster has been especially faithful about doing an "unglamorous" chore.
Care, too, should be taken by the chore report writers to see that the language used for first-graders be in line with their reading abilities, and that for older children the report s be as mature as the workers.
Next Week: Listeners