Yes it’s that time of term when teachers disappear into that vortex which seems to dominate their lives for three weeks or so…… REPORTS
Even though I know its coming, I am still surprised when the buff coloured piece of paper arrives in my pigeon hole giving me the important dates to remember so that I get them in on time.
The staff room becomes a place where bleary eyed, pasty looking people ( from lack of natural sunlight) greet or grunt each other in the morning before we retire to various sanctuaries to grab as much time as we can to mark,write and edit comments on those we have been entrusted with.
I must admit I am not the best writer and enjoy meeting parents at interview nights more than writing comments about how their offspring has gone.
John Hattie in his book ” Visible Learning” comments on the important place of feedback in visible learning.
“Hattie suggests that visible teaching and learning occurs when learning is the explicit goal: when there is feedback given and sought and when there are active, passionate, and engaging people, including teachers, students, and peers participating in the act of learning”.
This term I decided to seek feedback for one of my classes and get them to write their own reports. I used an online survey with strategic questions to give them the opportunity to comment on the journey they have travelled.
When I read their comments and edited them for their reports, I was genuinely impressed by the level of critical evaluation they completed. They were honest , insightful and set themselves goals for the next term of work. I must admit I really enjoyed writing their comments because I felt I had real insight into their learning. It also gave me feedback on how to structure the course so that each student has achieves individual excellence next term.
Reports for me this term weren’t a dirty word but I found the experience refreshing for me as a educator and life long learner.