Friday, June 15, 2007

Hi-tech school reports

Yes it's half yearly parent teacher interview time and we have received the school reports... We loooove the school reports and I have been wondering whether teachers have a secret website where they write what they really think and the secret website chucks out the PC-parental version that they can paste into the report cards. No corkers this time round. Last year there was the ever classic "likes to create drama with her classmates" and "is an enthusiastic vocal contributor". It's become a bit tamer this year and almost heading into the stereotypes of our time such as "could apply her/himself more". I prefer the secret website option - anyone know any primary school teachers? Do the senior school teachers amongst us know something we don't?


Ms Delprat said...

At my school, you get a list of comments with codes to choose from. So, I'm afraid your wonderful, individual daughter might be a 2317, just like 100 other kids in that subject.
We try our best with the rotten apples we're given, though.

fliss said...

I sincerely hope someone with at least a vague sense of humour put the codes together... do you get 1313 and 666 as options? It's almost as good as a secret website... there must be one out there somewhere... Enter "rotten sod who never listens in class and needs a kick up the butt in order to get anywhere" and it churns out "needs to improve focus in class and homework". Ms D - Do the codes work just as well? Or maybe we could just type A-F in to produce random comments strung together in order to sound like a report. Frankly given mid-year appraisals are coming up at work and I have to hand out feedback and development strategies I desperately want access to a secret website to come up with PC terms for inappropriate attitudes, crap work ethics and general lack of ability. Unfortunately I have to spend ages carefully PC-ising what I really think into language that will motivate people to change their behaviours. It's so bloody exhausting, I want a cheat option!

Mousicles said...

Why must comments be PC and always encouraging? Surely people must know that some kids are just horrible sometimes.

I know I spend most of my time in company trying to ensure that sprogling doesn't offend anyone and everyone I know does the same with their kids.

In fact, I suspect we could let our kids get a little noisier before we'd get sick of them. Certainly, I know my friends hush their kids well before I get worried about it.

But we are all not normal and would rather know about an issue and deal with it rather than brush it under the carpet with PC words until it's an ingrained habit of monsterous proportions.

fliss said...

Clearly we are in the minority. Personally I would much rather be told to pull my head in, shut up or just get on with it than having everyone think I'm a complete dick. However, if I actually said what I really thought at work I'd be hauled in front of my HR director faster than you can say zoom... In fact, I've had 3 separate sets of meetings with people who just don't seem to be able to differentiate between valid feedback on behaviour & work ability with "I think you're a horrible person and I hate you" in the last 3 weeks. It's enough to do my head in. And my god I salute the teachers out there who have to put up with this crap day in and day out - I couldn't.

Baggy Trousers said...

Sadly, I think the crap is only going to get worse, too. Parents are taking less responsibility for their kids, which means that kids are starting to think that all problems are someone else's they have no role models to see that you take responsibility for your actions, and TV and Paris Hilton are REALLY not helping...
I talk in huge generalisations. Our gang are a great exception to the rule. For people with a really odd hobby, we seem to be pretty well-adjusted adults (well, most of us...)
The kids coming out of this group will be smart, well-loved, and well-supported individuals. I can't wait to see them getting bigger and bigger.

The reporting system, sadly, is just a list of about 2000 comments that point out that your child is ok, but could be doing better. There are about 3 that hint at inappropriate behaviour, about 50 that deal with "doesn't submit homework". The rest are pretty tame. "Needs to submit more practice essays", "needs to focus more".
There is, at this point, no option to chop and change the comments. But I think we are talking about rehauling the whole system. 3 comment spaces - pick one line from the behaviour, one from study habits, one from something else. Less chance of the kids getting the same thing all the time.

Out of my 5 classes, about 150 students, I hand-write at least 3 comments. Sometimes, you just can't get a kid to follow a barcode. The office ladies hate it, because their job is already pretty huge with all the data entry they do for reports.

Wow, I think I just wrote a novel.