It’s that stressful time of year again – lots of you are working on report cards. I never had to send out report cards in March, in my district Kindergartners always got report cards twice a year, and we had parent/teacher conferences and informal conference reports two times in between. This year Kindergarten is doing report cards in December, March and June, which puts them in alignment with the rest of our elementary schools. But since I retired and don’t have to do that I only have comments saved for the middle of the year and the end of the year. I planned to wait and share them in a few months, but several people have told me they would like to see more comments now.
I had several years worth of comments saved on my computer, and I am sharing many of those with you. I tried to delete some that sounded just like others, especially for the children who were achieving the benchmarks and doing great – but lots of them are still repetitive. I decided just to include all of the rest because there might be a phrase or small comment that might trigger just what you would like to say to your parents.
Please remember that our progress report cards were done on the computer and we were only allowed 250 characters for comments, that included spaces and punctuation as well as letters. We had to be very concise. I tried to include the child’s strengths as well as areas they still needed to work on – it’s tricky when you are so limited in space.
I hope that reading these might be helpful to you.
Conducting individual one on one assessments, reviewing (and finding!) all those anecdotal notes that you have scribbled when an incident or inspiration occurs, analyzing each child’s strengths and challenges, reviewing work samples, and synthesizing the information into what parents need to hear, and then writing it all out in a professional but positive tone is an overwhelming job. And of course we know that these formal report cards are really only one small piece of the process of assessment and parent communication – we are continually evaluating, we write notes on almost everything that goes home, we make phone calls, jot emails, and meet for conferences. But these pieces of paper are the summation of progress that ends up in each child’s permanent educational file.
Even though you are probably working on 25 or more report cards, each parent scrutinizes only one. I hope you don’t get too many phone calls!