Writing report cards is a crucial task for educators as it allows them to communicate a student's progress and achievements to parents or guardians. However, this process can be overwhelming, often requiring meticulous attention to detail. In this blog post, we will delve into the art of report card writing, providing valuable insights, tips, and strategies to make the process more efficient and effective.
Understanding the Importance of Reporting
Effective reporting serves as a bridge between teachers, students, and parents, fostering a collaborative approach to education. By accurately assessing and documenting a student's progress, teachers can identify areas of strength and areas that need improvement. Clear and concise reporting promotes transparency and enables parents to actively engage in their child's educational journey.
Assessment Strategies for Meaningful Reporting
To write comprehensive report cards, teachers must employ robust assessment strategies that capture a holistic view of a student's progress. Utilise a variety of assessment methods, including formative and summative assessments, to gather data that reflects a student's skills, knowledge, and growth. By combining observations, tests, projects, and portfolios, teachers can create a well-rounded picture of each student's achievements.
Crafting Informative Report Card Comments
One of the most critical aspects of report card writing is composing informative and personalised comments. Here are some key tips to enhance the quality of your report card comments:
Writing report cards is an essential responsibility for teachers to foster effective communication and promote student progress. By understanding the importance of reporting, implementing comprehensive assessment strategies, and crafting informative comments, educators can ensure that report cards provide a meaningful representation of a student's achievements and areas for growth.
Remember, the report card writing process requires patience, attention to detail, and a commitment to objective assessment. By employing these strategies and continuously refining your approach, you can master the art of report card writing and contribute to the holistic development of your students.
Clare gives some insight into managing student behaviour from her own experiences in the classroom and leadership.
Welcome to 321 Teach’s first blog post! I’ve been thinking about writing this for sometime, without knowing where to start. So today is the day! Sometimes you just have to take the leap!
If you ask any teacher what their stresses or concerns are in the classroom, without doubt one of the most common answers you will hear is ‘behaviour management’. If this would be your answer, you are not alone. Whatever the reason, student behaviour seems to have become more of a concern over the past couple of decades in most classrooms. Like you I’m sure, I’ve seen so many theories being thrown around as to why. Some say it’s modern day parenting; children aren’t being brought up to respect adults and teachers like they used to be, others blame their diet; too many artificial colours and preservatives, while more still (and this is certainly evident in the media, and maybe even a parent email or two that you’ve received over your career) blame teachers.
Playing the blame game just doesn’t serve anyone, least of all our students. So here are some thoughts and perspectives that I’ve developed over my career.
I’ve been teaching for the better part of two decades and have been an Assistant Principal in Queensland primary schools for many years as well. I’ve worked in affluent areas with students coming from homes where you might expect that they’ve had every opportunity in their development as well as schools with students who come from extreme poverty and trauma. As a classroom teacher I was always that teacher who was given the ‘tricky’ students because I had firm boundaries and expectations in my classroom. I’ve learnt so much over the years about students and behaviour management, but what I’ve learnt can be brought down to three main ideas. Behaviour management relies on: Relationship/ Connection, Empathy and Consistency. In this instalment, let’s focus on relationship and connection.
When I started teaching the mantra for developing behaviour expectations was ‘Don’t smile until Easter’. Ever heard that one? I look back on those years of my teaching and it makes me sad to think how harsh I was with my students and how strict and unwavering I was with my expectations. That isn’t to say that I don’t still believe in consistency, I absolutely believe that that is key to effective behaviour management, but that model of ‘consistency’ lacked empathy and connection with my students. If you’re a primary school teacher, the children that you work with are still babies. They’re little, they want to be accepted and do the right thing and above all they want to be loved. No scratch that, they NEED to be loved. This is why I know that relationship and connection is the key to managing student behaviour. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Sometimes it’s REALLY hard to make a connection with certain children. Some children make it really hard to like them, it’s like it’s their life's mission to make our life hard. But it’s our job to find something to like about them. Every child has something to like, something unique and special- some are just really good at hiding it! While it might be hard work initially, developing a connection and relationship with your students, especially your tricky ones, will be worth it. Something that I’ve learnt in recent years through work in the trauma space that has resonated so loudly with me is ‘Connection Seeking’. How often do we talk about these tricky kids as being ‘Attention Seeking’? Calling out. Breaking things. Hurting others for no apparent reason. Doing anything BUT what they are supposed to be doing. Attention seeking. What if we flipped our mind set on their behaviour from ‘attention seeking’ to ‘connection seeking’? Does that change how you perceive their behaviour? It certainly has changed my mindset. If the function of the behaviours that your student is displaying is not just to get attention but to actually gain connection then there is a magnitude of things that we can do to give that to them (and why shouldn’t they have connection?) in a positive way. Here are some ideas for easy ways to start developing connection with these students:
Behaviour management isn’t easy. But there are simple steps that we can take to support students in developing positive behaviours in the classroom and school environment and it all starts with relationship and connection. How do you develop relationship and connection with your students? Let us know on our socials and let’s start a conversation!
Keep an eye out for part two of our blog on Behaviour Management when we’ll talk about empathy and consistency.