Today I started my interim reports - these are designed to let parents know how their little darlings/geniuses are settling into school. At the previous school I taught at these have turned into a major undertaking - not too dissimilar to writing a thesis. At my new school I have to complete 5 drop boxes on each student(on various things like homework, attitude etc). For each drop box I have 3 choices G = good S = satisfactory C - cause for concern.
Well I have a cause for concern and it is not caused by anyone of my students. In none of my 5 drop boxes was there an area that allowed me to comment on whether they were finding the work hard. There was one of class work but only on their attitude or effort. I am concerned cause I have some students in my year 9 English class who behave beautifully, attempt all work with enthusiasm, complete all homework, bring all their stuff to class - but they just do not comprehend all surface or any depth of the work we have been doing. I feel restricted by not being able to write a comment - I want to say "I have concerns for your daughters understanding of the work" but there is nowhere! Who knew that when I was given the dream result (interim reports with drop boxes - things I only dreamed of previously) that I wouldn't actually be happy. Who knew I would care so much, so much that I had to write a blog! Not all students need a comment at this stage, but some do and damn it I wish I could give it without having to write a thesis. Is there any perfect world to report writing - I think not, perhaps we should ban them altogether. As a parent, I get two reports per year and I find it completely adequate. Stop giving teachers so much work and stress. End rant.