How I Get Things Done

Report writing time seems to come around again all too quickly. This can be a super busy time for teachers and supervisors. Writing, checking, editing, re-checking, printing, signing… we all look forward to that moment where we can finally say “I’ve finished my reports!”

Here’s 12 things you can do to halve your report writing time:

1. Start early

Don’t leave it to the last minute! I know your mum probably told you this when you were little, but it’s absolutely true! Get started early.

2. Observe, observe, observe

The powers of observation are undervalued and underestimated. Intentionally observe the students in your class and take note of what they’re doing and how they’re progressing.

3. Don’t be too tricky or clever

Don’t try and develop an overcomplicated ‘system’ for getting your student reports written. Just get started and get on with it.

4. Develop a word bank of adjectives

Put together a list of adjectives to help you with writing your reports, rather than wasting time trying to think of a different word for ‘fantastic’. Simply do an internet search for ‘adjective list’ or ‘report card adjectives’ and you will come up with a bunch of websites and images that will help.

5. Develop a list of sample comments

Start compiling a list of sample comments that you can refer to at any time. I have both a digital version (saved on my computer) and a hard copy version (papers in a folder) and I use both. Here’s a great one I came across online.

6. Break it down

Break your report writing down into manageable chunks using a weekly or monthly planner.

7. Find your own groove

You’ll really figure out, over time, how YOU write reports. You will develop your own style and your own way of doing things that will work for you. Being true to you still applies when it comes to writing your reports.

8. Read the completed comments out aloud

This is an important part of the report writing process. Actually read them out aloud, word by word. You will quickly notice any errors and you will also get a feel for how your reports read as a whole.

9. Get them to your supervisor early

Set a good example and get your reports in before the due date.

10. Keep copies of every report you write

Being able to refer back to previous reports is a great way of reviewing what you’ve written and improving for next time. I usually keep a printed copy of all my previous reports in my report folder so I can easily look at them and use them as inspiration for the next round of report writing.

11. Read other teachers’ reports

This is not about comparison (comparison is deadly) but rather about getting a ‘feel’ for how someone else does it. I have always found it super helpful to read the way someone else writes and to see how they express things.

12. Advance and improve

Learning to be a great report writer takes time and it’s a journey.

So, with that in mind,

Enjoy the journey,

And more importantly, enjoy the moments.



P.S. Click here for 10 Quick Tips For Effective Report Writing.

QUESTION: What do you do to make report writing quicker? You can leave your comments here.