The 'R' word is mentioned with either a groan or a number of how many are done or have to be done.
Over my years of teaching in many different settings I have experienced the same thing.
It makes me think . . . WHY?
As teachers we are reflecting on the learning of our students, celebrating their achievements, big and small. Giving messages to parents about their child. The little people they worry about, they anxiously wonder if their child is doing ok; sometimes holding their breath, waiting for 'news'. No report should hold surprises, parents should be well informed,but still there are nervous moments before the report is read.
Lets stop for a minute. Lets think about the report.
We plan, we teach, we assess, we talk to each student, we give feedback, we feedforward for students to set goals and the improve their learning and understanding.
The natural progression is that we report to parents.
So what is that causes the stress?
Is it the format? What are reporting on?
Are we really giving a message that talks about each student and the achievements they have made?
Reports are not a surprise.
We know now we will be writing reports in June, and again next November/December.
For me, talking about my students is something I love!
Thinking about what they have achieved, the confidence they have when they share their thinking, or the way they respond when they answer questions and share their thinking. Remembering the goals they have achieved and how they have built one achievement on top of another. Thinking about the smile of satisfaction when they realise they finally understand something that has required them to think, practise, research, ask and think!
Thinking of report writing as an opportunity to celebrate each student and their individual achievements as a message to the people who wait eagerly at home - wondering - are they doing ok?
I would love to say to the parents of my students . . .
"Of course they are, 'cause if not you and I would have had many conversations before now.
I care about you child. I spend hours with them everyday. If there is a problem, know I worry about your child, I think about them day and night. I love their little conversations, I keep their little drawings and messages.
There is NO way the first time you will hear about a problem is when you open the big yellow envelope, the one that sums up the last 5 months of school your child.
Parents please know I am in this WITH you for YOUR child, the report celebrates where your child is at, but please remember you child is so much more than letters, numbers and words.
Celebrate learning, celebrate understanding and keep the journey going. Reporting is a great opportunity to CELEBRATE.