DD (4.8) has just finished the second of three years of French pre-school, in a French-English bilingual school. Her three page end of year report has two pages of tick boxes and one page of comments. The comment page has one comment by her French class teacher, one comment by her English teacher and one comment by the headmistress.
French teacher comment (translated from French):
A reasonably satisfactory semester: DD has overcome her fragility in front of the group and her lack of self-confidence. She is keener to join in with the life of her class and is making regularly progress.
English teacher comment
DD is a very enthusiastic and cheerful child. She especially enjoys our show and tell sessions and sharing her knowledge about her belongings. DD follows instructions readily and is able to work independently as well as in a group. She has a wide vocabulary and good grammatical structures. DD's attitude in class is excellent. Well done!
Headmistress's comment (translated from French)
DD has made a great deal of progress! She should do very well next year!
Not really - there isn't much difference between her French and her English. The English class is smaller and cosier (15 children versus 30) and she is relatively better at English versus the class, I think.
The French class size is determined by French law. The English class size is determined by the school and is a function of the number of children at a particular level (in DD's case, she is in the Anglophone and Bilingual class). The English class size is always smaller than the French class size: the English classes are basically "sets" and there are more English sets than there are French classes.
I'd read it as saying that your DD is more confident and comfortable with the English teacher and his/her style of teaching than with the French teacher and his/her style of teaching (although, from what you say about class sizes, it may be a class size thing rather than related to the individual teachers). But the tone of the French comment is that she's got over whatever initial reticence there may have been, so I would be expecting the next report to be more even for both classes.
Don't we all come across as slightly different in different situations? And if one group is smaller, that might well explain why she is more confident there. Not to mention that she might simply work better for one teacher for another. Nothing odd about it to me. Besides- aren't they both more or less saying the same thing, except that the French teacher is thinking back to how she was and how she has improved, while the English teacher is clearly giving a snapshot of how she is now?
I think that the real explanation is that DD reacts very differently to the French and English pedogogical approach, and I think this because her reports have not been substantially different to this in two years (two French teachers and three English teachers in that time). She isn't timid however - she's bored in her French class. Interesting how her French teachers perceive her reaction...