Monday, 21 December 2015

R and R (Reports and Reflection)

Ah tis the season to be jolly! Christmas is on the door step and teachers around the world have a well deserved break... errrr nope. Tis the season to plan for next season I think :)

This one in particular for me is a challenge. *Sigh* report writing... You either have the gift or you don't. I have the latter. But I do like them in the sense of reflection. This is a small step off the treadmill to reflect upon your children as a whole. 

  • What have they achieved? 
  • How much of it is a result of them developing naturally? 
  • How much can you really apportion to your teaching? 
  • Who are they as a person?
  • Where do they have to go next?
  • How am I as the professional educator going to get them there?

I love this aspect of the report writing process. I suspect this is why my reports never end up fitting in the school template. I will undoubtedly go through the motions of arial 12, arial 11, arial 11 narrow, edit the margins, edit the boxes, smaller headings, edit, edit, edit and on and on :) Why will I never learn! Alas, what a nice opportunity to reflect especially whilst you are in the throws of spending time with family and friends. Not to mention all the sweets around.

However, bearing in mind this is coming from a second year teacher, let me try to share what I have learnt in a pompous ten top tips.

  1. For God sake check for personal pronouns (he, she, her, his). I believe that all children are unique. But, let's be honest the things we may say are not. That being said there is a lot of cutting, pasting and editing. It is a nightmare when parents see their little girl being called a he. As for names come on I know your not that sloppy :)
  2. Read it aloud.
  3. If it doesn't even remotely fit you template it is waffle! (pot kettle black I know)
  4. 20 minutes drink and repeat.
  5. Short sentences are key. Easier to follow. Shorter is sweeter.
  6. Avoid over complicated terminology. Your audience may not understand what a commutative law is or even why little Jim age 6 would need to know this.
  7. Be positive! Sarah hasn't been shouting out she's been enthusiastic. She would benefit in developing how to channel her important vocal contributions.
  8. Be honest but never say anything you wouldn't be prepared to say to a parents face. Always be constructive and weather a parents wrath if needs be. Remember the child comes first.
  9. Show how much you know the child. Personalised recognition of each child's interests or personal achievements show much you care and make parents understand how much you care for their children.
  10. Get someone else to read them.

Well back to writing mine!! Merry Christmas to you all...