Usefull Facts About School Report

How did you used to treat your school report? Was it opened with bated breath, with the family gathered round to read the summary of your progress over the past year? Was it hidden at the bottom of your school bag, reluctantly dragged out as you awaited your punishment for the truths written within? Was it passed around family members and friends, who compared scores and grades? Maybe you had teachers who could be relied upon to trot out the same phrases every year. Sometimes you wondered if they even knew who you were, and other times you may have felt misunderstood: you weren’t disruptive, it was just that the teacher didn’t like you.

Reports of old were allowed to be much more honest. If you were crap at chemistry, the teacher would report that you “struggled with the subject” or that it wasn’t one of your strongest points. If you were a pain in the butt, your teacher would write that you were “a nuisance” or that you “distracted the class”. But something happened between me being on the receiving end of these comments, and me getting to dish them out.

Everything now has to be so darn positive, so we never get to tell the parents that their kid is a little bastard, but instead have to pick out their best qualities, whatever they might be. Instead of Fiona being rude, answering back, and spending the entire lesson chatting with her friends, we should be writing that she’s popular amongst her peers, questioning, and willing to assert herself. If Jimmy spends the lesson in a daze, not knowing his test tube from his Bunsen burner, he is reported as being a quiet boy whose target is to ask for help when he doesn’t understand. Should Alex be noisy and disruptive then he is “lively”. The whole procedure of report writing has become an exercise in covert codes, that would put Dan Brown and his “Da Vinci Code” to shame, with only fellow teachers being able to read between the lines and build up a real picture of what the child is like.

Thanks for reading, be sure to check my other posts about school and my teaching days. Stay tuned for new entries, there`s always something to write about!