The Dreaded Reports
Reports…ughhh. Every teacher’s most dreaded time of year and a time when parents anxiously await to find out how their child is doing at school. Twice a year teachers prepare reports to allow parents to see the progress their child is making at school.
“Why did you only get a C? I thought you said you have been working so hard and doing all of your homework!?”
“But my teacher said I should be proud of my grade Mum.”
“You only got a C though? Why aren’t you getting A’s”
Different Reporting Structures
Schools all differ in their reporting structures and it is often confusing for parents to understand what grade is representing what level of achievement. Some schools use A-E grading, some use working towards-achieved-high, some use beginning-developing-achieved-extended.
Whatever structure the school uses, it is important that parents are informed and understand what grade shows the expected level of achieved outcomes. Before flicking through your child’s report and having a mini meltdown when you come across a C-E or a developing, make sure you read the front of your child’s report and understand the key which will explain what each grade is representing.
For some schools a C is what students should be aiming to achieve. A C may show that students have achieved taught outcomes over the course of the semester or year.
Reports Shouldn’t Shock You Or Your Child
Reports should also not come as a complete shock to parents or students. Your child spends on average 6 hours a day at school, 5 days a week. You should always make sure that you have a good relationship with your child’s school and their class teacher. It’s a great idea to make the effort throughout the year to check on your child’s progress. A quick chat to the class teacher when you pick up or drop of your child is a great way to stay on top of their progress.
Parent-Teacher Communication Is The Key
Teachers and parents are both so time poor but it’s vital to keep on top of any concerns before they turn into difficulties or problems. It is much easier to give your child extra assistance at home or with a tutor rather than leave it for a whole semester and have to have your child play catch ups.
Parent teacher interviews are also a really important for parents to attend. As teachers we know that parents often work and can not attend but if that’s you, then try to organise even a 5 minute phone call with the class teacher. We also know that sometimes parents don’t like to attend parent teacher interviews because they are embarrassed with their child report or they think that the teacher is just going to comment on their bad behaviour. Remember teachers spend 6 hours a day, 5 days a week with your child. They play a crucial part in the growth and development of your child, not only academically but also mentally and socially. It is so important that parents and teachers are both on the same page and can work together to positively assist the child’s development.
Reports are only one form of communication between teachers and parents. They provide an opportunity for teachers to give feedback to parents regarding the outcomes they have achieved at school. They are not, and, should not be the only communication you have with your child’s school.