Megan Dredge - 10 Quick Tips For Effective Student Report Writing

Well it’s that time of year again – report writing time! Yes, this can be quite a busy and overwhelming time for teachers. We are all looking forward to that feeling of having ‘finished’ our student reports – the drafts have all been checked and re-checked and checked again, the reports are printed and signed, then re-checked… – aaahhh to have finished our reports is a great moment!

So this week, here’s 10 quick tips to make your report writing more effective:

  1. Be observant – open your eyes and notice specific things about your students.
  2. Allocate time – figure out the best time of day/week for YOU to be productive writing reports.
  3. Make friends with a thesaurus – it’s easy to run out of adjectives and use the same words over and over again. Your thesaurus will help you to avoid this! There are lots of great online thesaurus resources.
  4. Give yourself a break! Your mind needs to rest – make sure you schedule in short breaks to refresh and revive yourself.
  5. Don’t isolate yourself. Talk to other teachers; read some of their comments; keep ‘report conversations’ going so you are not alone in your own little report-writing-world.
  6. Find your voice – your voice, your words, your expression, your language.
  7. Get in your own groove. Develop your own system for report writing – don’t try and write exactly as another teacher writes. Some people write all the reports in one sitting; others write sections at a time; still others combine topic areas/sections of the report. Get in your own groove.
  8. Get feedback – ask someone to have a read through the reports for you. They will notice things you’ve missed and may save you a lot of editing time further down the track.
  9. Finish before the due date. Set yourself a date that is a few days ahead of the official due date. This will help you to stay on track and also, when you hand in the reports early, you will feel awesome about you!
  10. Be self aware during the whole process. Report writing is a process and the best way to make the process as smooth as possible is for you to figure out the way that you write reports. Developing your own voice and system and style takes time, and each time you write reports, you will get better and better. Be self aware during the process.

This week’s assignment:

Firstly, be super observant of your students this week – this will help you when you are writing their reports. Secondly, draw a brief timeline for writing and completing your student reports. Include dates and times, as well as giving yourself some extra days/hours so that you are not totally under pressure. Make sure there is space for you to take a bit of extra time if you need it.

Enjoy the journey,

And more importantly,

Enjoy the moments.