The Greatest Way to Finish The Year With Your Class

The aim of this post is to help all of your teachers out there make something you despise one of your greatest weapons and game changers.

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(Matter of fact, parents you too could easily do this. Please, let me know how it goes if you do try it out!)

We’re going to be talking about school reports. Dreaded, time consuming, stop-every-other-part-of-your-life reports…and how you can use them to be a genuinely incredible experience with your class of legendary kids.

And…possibly give you a  “Captain, my captain” moment.

As I’m married to a teacher, have a younger brother who is a teacher and became a teacher because I was inspired by my older sister being a teacher, we enjoy talking about education. A lot.

(Let’s be honest, we all love getting our education nerd on. I mean, seriously, who doesn’t get their kicks off discussing authentic learning, positive education, formative assessment and concept-based learning? We’ve now learned to keep these exciting discussions reserved only for family dinners).

Recently, my little brother and I have been talking again about an activity we do at the end of every year with our class.

Instead of simply giving out all of your reports to each kid, and sending them off to their parents, take one small risk.

Tell EVERY single kid what’s within their envelope.

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But…um….can we do that?

Grab your whole class, sit them in a circle and place the reports in the middle of the group.

Explain to them just how much work goes into these..not just by you, but also by each kid for the whole year. (If possible, sit on the floor, in the circle with them on their level).

Point at all of the envelopes in the middle and tell them that it is a pile of success stories waiting to be shared.

(At this point let the group know they are about to have some compliments sent their way. It might help to briefly discuss how awkward it can be for some people, but you can positively and politely respond…simply by saying “Thanks”)

Now, grab that first report envelope, read out your student’s name, smile, take a breath and tell them the most important things they have achieved*.

Be as specific as you can, a “Good job” doesn’t actually tell the student anything.

You might tell them they have made you laugh nearly every day, used beautiful adjectives in their writing, been a true friend to their mates, smiled more as the year went on or smashed their multiplication skills out of the park.

Then keep looking at them and thank them for being in this class and making it the unique place it is. Without them, the class wouldn’t exist or be the same.

Now, repeat this for every child.

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Trust me, it’s bloody good. Do it.

Now, it normally takes me between 20-30 minutes for this, depending on the number of kids in my class (and how many coffees I’ve had). Let me know how long it goes for you and the reaction you get from the kids!

You’ve put in a HUGE amount of time and effort into these reports, why not see some fruits from that labour?

How do you finish up the year with your kids?

Even better, how did the sharing session go with your kids?! Comment below, share an email or comment in our facebook community!

*Parents, simply read through the report and find as many positives as possible and share them with your kid. The first time you talk about the report, don’t focus on what hasn’t been achieved yetfocus on the multiple AMAZING things they’ve done during this semester!

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