The worst part of report writing is that you can't really say what you want to say. Instead, any criticisms have to be carefully couched as generic platitudes.
Don't get me wrong, report cards are not the time to be honestly blunt - but there are times when it would be nice to be able to say what you want to say. As a teacher, there are times when I really hope that parents can read between the lines.
I've actually found review writing to be a bit the same. When you are writing comments about a novel that somebody has spent hours and hours toiling over, you don't want to tear them down too much. So you try and say any criticism nicely - and hope they read between the lines too.
Here are a few comments that I found floating around the internet that, some days, I wish I could use:
- Since my last report, your child has reached rock bottom and has started to dig.
- This student has delusions of adequacy.
- This student is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot.
- This student sets low standards and then consistently fails to achieve them.
- This student has been working with glue too much.
- The wheel is turning but the hamster is dead.
- Your child is so lazy that if breathing wasn't an involuntary response, they would be dead.
But there not always negative. Sometimes I'd like to be able to tell them how wonderful their child is too:
- It's kids like yours that keep me teaching.