Progress Report for First Grader Donald J. Trump

by Leila Sinclaire

Image via ProgressiveDiscussions/YouTube

Image via ProgressiveDiscussions/YouTube

The Kew-Forest School
Spring 1952
First Grade Progress Report
Student: Donald John Trump
Teachers: Ms. Linda Sweetwater, Ms. Bertha Beckett
 

READING

Image via Giphy

Image via Giphy

Donald seems to like the idea of reading more than the physical action. He gathers books beyond his reading level and stacks them up to form barriers on his table, never opening any of the books to engage with the text. When other students ask if they can borrow one of the books in his sizeable stacks, Donald says no, that the books all belong to him, though they are communal classroom property. We worry that Donald spends most of his reading time guarding his stacks rather than strengthening his decoding and comprehension skills. During partner reading, Donald refuses to sit "knee to knee" on the carpet according to our custom and insists on sitting on a chair above his partner.


WRITING

Donald resists brainstorming, editing, and other pre- and post-writing activities. He prefers to write only one quick draft. Donald's unconventional spelling and messy handwriting together make his work nearly illegible. Donald is still grappling with the genre differences between fiction and nonfiction, and often turns in fantasy stories when he has been assigned to write autobiographically. When we question the stories, Donald tears them up and tells us that we are fired as his teachers.


MATHEMATICS

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Image via Giphy

Donald reports that he likes math. He still uses his fingers to count, so numbers greater than 10 become confusing. Donald becomes despondent if he does not win the math games we regularly play on Fridays, despite his tendency to cheat. When asked how he arrived at an answer, Donald often says "I just knew" or "My brain told me." We suspect that Donald will continue to struggle in math until he builds the confidence to admit his mistakes and view them as opportunities for learning and growth.

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HUMANITIES

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Image via Giphy

In research projects, Donald is reluctant to fact-check and insists that anything he hears or reads once from any source is undoubtedly true. Donald seems disgusted by all what he calls "un-American" traditions and does not accept our teaching that America is composed of many different cultures. It is rare to see such xenophobia in a young child! His thinking is still very concrete, and he judges anything unfamiliar quite harshly. We recommend that you take Donald to Native American heritage sites and to Ellis Island over the summer. Spend the whole day there. Really take your time.

 
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL

Image via Giphy

Image via Giphy

Donald interrupts and talks over his classmates. He mocks children with speech delays, glasses, birthmarks, and other visible differences. Though Donald makes us all laugh with his goofy antics and exaggerated facial expressions, he still hasn't internalized the idea that a joke is funny once or twice then loses its appeal. We use the phrase "was funny once" to remind him to bring an end to it, with mixed success. Donald's self-regulation is still emerging. On multiple occasions, as you are aware, Donald exposed his genitals during both class time and recess. Once he punched the music teacher in the face, giving him a black eye.
 
We are of the opinion that Donald should not progress to second grade without a complete neuropsychological evaluation and an individualized education plan.

 

Leila Sinclaire is a mother, writer, teacher, and educational consultant living in the SF Bay Area. She tries not to let her children run indoors, but usually fails. Like her on Facebook (Leila Sinclaire, Writer) or follow her on Twitter @leilasinclaire.