Posted by Stevan K| July 28, 2021
Teaching comes with a lot of hardships and writing report cards for students is no exception. Arguably creating report card remarks is THE most arduous part. Grades have to be placed, comments have to be written in an exact format and with the correct tone, and your compliments and suggestions need to be articulated in the right way for students and parents.
Report card writing is cumbersome and often taxing on teachers. But here are six strategies to consider that will make report card writing much easier.
“Sandwiching” is a great technique for writing report card comments. It just means that you start and end with positive comments and sandwich the negative comment or constructive criticism in the middle. This allows teachers to broach a student’s performance on a high note, then intersperse some suggestions for improvements, before ending on another high note. It also gives structure and a way to give information to the reader in a light yet professional tone.
Report card writing is like studying or project completion: you have to break up your activity with a break to discourage burnout. Set aside time to write your report card comments, use a timer to grade, and allow for a break at specific intervals. Don’t be afraid to reward yourself with a snack at that time.
A school year is long, and every student grows at their pace. Make sure to comment on where improvements need to be made. Rather than being harsh or overly critical, start by building on some of the areas where the child excels, so students know what they’ve done well and how they need to go foreword to be that much more well-rounded in their educational skillset.
Obviously bias, rudeness, and anger-based criticism has no place in report card writing. Being honest does. If you’ve tracked the student’s progress and provided them with a report of how they’ve progressed over the school term(s), they can see all of their development upfront and get transparent yet truthful information.
Since each student is unique, it helps to keep comments to their abilities and not general or in relation to all of the class. Provide a specific direction for them to focus on to improve their academic skills and note particular areas that they need to hone to be that much better in their subject(s).
Edit, check, edit, rewrite, get rid of all errors…in short: proofread your report card comments to the maximum. It shows students are getting pedagogical advice from someone that cares and knows what they are reporting on. Plus, report card comments that are riddled with errors look unprofessional.
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