I’ve just written over a hundred reports and it struck me that it requires a degree of diplomatic phrasing.
To help other teachers out there, here are some tried and tested lines (with their true meanings underneath)*:
Alex is practicing his fine motor skills and improving his pencil grip.
His colouring is really messy. He writes in hieroglyphs.
Sophie is curious about new words and enjoys expanding her vocabulary.
She never stops talking.
James is an active participant in our class discussions and enjoys sharing his ideas on a range of topics.
He never stops talking.
Holly is gaining an awareness of volume control.
She burst my eardrum before we introduced the class volume-o-metre.
Joe is starting to structure his ideas and use paragraphs in his compositions.
I no longer need a time machine to keep up with his plot.
Alice is a pleasure to teach.
She is one of my favourites.
Matthew elevates the class discussions to a higher level.
He doesn’t talk about fluffy bunnies like a broken record.
Chloe is working on her listening skills.
I have to repeat every instruction five times.
Peter’s fluency and pronunciation have improved. We will continue practicing expression.
He reads like a robot. Listening to a lift would be more entertaining.
Reading more at home will improve her spelling and sentence formation.
She wrote a stream of consciousness that only made sense read aloud and deciphered by a team of experts.
I suggest Bob keeps a diary to work on his writing skills, particularly using past tense verbs.
If he writes, “I go already and eated” again, I might cry.
Lucy is learning to work with others and share.
She snatches toys and upsets her classmates regularly.
Ashley is an enthusiastic member of the class who puts a lot of effort into his work.
He is the only student that does his homework.
Valerie needs constant encouragement when reading aloud.
She is mute.
I recommend that Tim participates more in comprehension tasks and class discussions.
I’m not sure I’ve ever met this child.
I would like to see Bella working more independently and increase her confidence in her own ability.
She copies from whomever I sit her next to.
I suggest learning the spelling by covering, reciting the letters out loud and then writing the word down repeatedly until it has been memorised.
Guessing or sounding-out spelling words won’t work. English is hard.
I would like to see Kyle manage his time more efficiently and attempt all the answers.
He answered one question out of forty.
Molly gives every task her best effort and is beginning to show signs of progress.
Making mistakes is how we learn. With more time and sustained effort we’ll see results, hopefully.
Rory is getting better at controlling his emotional regulation.
He has stopped wailing uncontrollably through the first half of the lesson.
Nina needs to read aloud under supervision every day to continue to improve her pronunciation.
I’m not convinced she is reading the same language.
Simon must ensure he writes legibly as it is occasionally difficult to read.
Scribbling is not writing in the cursive style.
Janice could add dialogue to further develop her characters and she should avoid using confusing names.
The paper it was written on was more 3D than Lois and Louis.
William needs to review gendered pronouns.
So many sex changes in one paragraph.
Heidi should look after her course materials more carefully.
She handed in a booklet with a bogey folded into the pages.
Harry has shown real progress in his open-ended comprehension answers.
He has learnt lifting and dumping is for garbage trucks only.
I would like Polly to check her punctuation carefully.
I passed out trying to read her Guinness World Record breaking sentence in one breath.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this – do you have any go-to phrases you use? Let me know in the comments!
* I have used generic names and please note some situations are exaggerated for comedic effect!