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People love to complain about the news media, saying most news is bad news. It certainly seems that is true. Each year schools deliver many messages to parents and students. They share facts, updates, and feedback about the students they serve. Report cards are issued and conferences are held. And what do most of us remember about these conversations? The “bad news.”

We receive feedback throughout our lives. Some of it is good. Some we may not like. What do most of us remember? The “bad news” – what is said that we don’t like. Things that bother us stick with us longer than things that are glowing. It is human nature. Is there an evolutionary reason for this? As humans populated the planet, it was best to recall those things that impacted life and safety in order to assure the continuation of the species. Sunny days and meadows of flowers were pleasing, but didn’t necessarily keep one alive. Knowing which plants to eat or avoid may. Perhaps that is why we continue to focus on the negative, why we worry when someone appears to be displeased with us.

As we begin to get ready for another school year, ongoing feedback will be part of the experience. Are you and your child partners with the school? Are you working together to ensure the best educational experience for your child? Is the school delivering the “bad news” as bad news or are they viewing feedback as an opportunity for growth? Embracing our strengths and honestly viewing our challenges support the ability to learn and grow. The next time you or your child receive feedback that you don’t like, take a moment and decide if it is really bad news or an opportunity to learn more about the ways in which your child can grow.