Reporting Bicycle

Apologies for the recent silence on this page. As you may have guessed, I’ve been rather busy with work, and here’s just some of it:

Luckily, I only have to write full reports once a year (the regular reporting cycle tracks grades and effort levels) so this doesn’t inundate me too often. This week, I have to write reports for one hundred and fifty kids across three different years and five classes.

It’s an art form in itself, report writing, and one that perhaps should be included on the syllabus.

The pinnacle of report writing praises the well behaved student who is too often forgot, corrects the behaviour of those forgotten too rarely. As such, it gives rise to its own dictionary of doublespeak.

Today, I shed light on a few of them.

(Doublespeak Translation)

Timmy is a friendly and confident student whose contributions are valued by his peers. Timmy is a loudmouth shit who never stops talking to his peers.

Johnny is a very capable student who can be highly motivated. Johnny might be bright, but I don’t know because he never puts any bloody effort in.

Spike would benefit from reading a wider variety of texts more fully at home. Spike tends not to misbehave so I don’t really know him, but you can always read more so I’ll suggest that.

Come to think of it, I’m starting to remember what was written on mine…

Reporting Bicycle

6 thoughts on “Reporting Bicycle

  1. Interesting/weird that we are now creeping towards the age where we are looking at schooling and other rites of passage from the other side of the fence (this sounds abit odd, but is prompted by a conversation with my boss this morning about how to INTERVIEW when only 18 months ago I was the candidate).

    Now, I shall summarise all my school reports ever written about me:

    Laura is clever, but she talks too much.

    Depending on what year I was in, this either had a positive spin (Laura is a capable student, who likes to engage with the rest of the class on a wide variety of subjects) or a subtle indication that I was actually quite irritating (Laura is a capable student, however, she is prone to chatting with others and does not always fulfill her potential).

    1. archaism says:

      I definitely think it’s possible to spin a lot of feedback in vastly different lights; in my opinion the key skill of a teacher is to feed back effectively to mistakes in behaviour or understanding, either sugar-coated or not.

  2. Phill Smith says:

    LOL, my Mum is a teacher and I have discussed this with her many times, she has a similar array of pseudo-truths for parent’s evening. I spoke to her recently about it and she said she actually gave up with the double speak a while back and just calls a spade a spade now. Your son has great difficulty concentrating in class and frequently refuses to do any work. Plus, he is a complete shit. (OK, maybe not that blunt but it must be tempting!)

    1. archaism says:

      I was talking with a colleague of mine about this yesterday – the longest serving teacher of English at my school. She said much the same thing, so I wonder if it comes with experience, or if partially it is a difference in perception. I wonder if parents would respond as favourably to myself being so frank considering my age.

  3. Jo says:

    It’s funny I think I had the rare experience of teachers saying what they meant with me – but then I did always get: “Joanna holds her pen wrong.” Recently one of my lecturers pulled me up on it too!

    I must say I do like your standard “read more” response, rather than admitting to the parent that you don’t know their child at all!

    1. archaism says:

      To be honest, even when I suggest wider reading (probably the key skill of the English student at all levels) I don’t feel that I don’t know the child. In many cases, it is legitimately the greatest target. However, I do feel sorry for some of my colleagues who teach three-hundred pupils over two weeks, where I imagine that can be much more of a possibility – especially if absence is taken into account.

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