Monday, November 18, 2013

Report Card Reflections

     Today our Semester 1 Report Cards went home with students and I could breathe a sigh of relief. The past two weeks have been emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausting as I've attempted to survive my first report card experience as a first year teacher. To be honest, I don't feel like there was any one aspect that was genuinely hard (although they were time consuming). The most difficult part, for me, was making sure I actually did everything that was required of me.
    
     I felt like there was a lot of aspects that I simply wasn't aware of, so I would think I was completed... only to find out I was still missing details or tasks. I feel like it would have been a lot more simple if I had a comprehensive checklist to work through. Unfortunately, our Provincial Report Cards are new so even our most-experienced teachers were still going through this for the first time. In the interest of helping others (and reminding myself), here is a checklist of what I had to do:

1) Organize & Update Records
     - Go through my anecdotal records, ensure everything is up-to-date,
       notify admin/parents/students of any necessary concerns

2) Complete all Assessments for This Semester
     - For two of my classes, this included a unit test or project as they
       were at the end of their units
     - For four of my classes, this included finishing up current
       assignments
     - I also made sure none of my students had missing assignments
       or completing proper documentation for those who still had things
       missing at the cut-off date

3) Fully Update my Online Markbook
     - This was done as I completed Step 2

4) Writing 4-5 Sentence Comments For Every Student For Every Subject
     - For each of my students, for each of my subjects, I needed to
       write a comment to expand on the numerical grade that each student
       received.
     - Each comment identified the student's strength in the subject,
       a challenge in the subject, and an appropriate next step for the next
       semester.
     - For me, this equaled approximately 94 comments!
     * I know I still have a lot to learn about comment-writing but
        luckily none of my comments were sent back when reviewed by the
        principal!

5) Reporting on Learning Behaviours
     - For each of my students, for each of my subjects, I also needed to
       report on my student's learning behaviours while in class. As a
       Middle/High School teacher I only needed to assign a letter
       designation in each category and not write a full comment (unless
       there was a specific concern)

6) Completing IEP Adaptation Checklists
     - Any of my students who are on an Individualized Education Plan
       (IEP) needed an Adaptation Checklist attached to their report card
       to document what adaptations are being included in the classroom
     - I only needed to complete 5 of these, which wasn't too time-consuming

7) Ensure All Grade 8 Teachers Have Their Comments/Learning Behaviours/Marks Completed
      - As the Grade 8 homeroom teacher, it was my responsibility to make
        sure that their other teachers (English, Social Studies, French, Band, Gym)
        had their comments/learning behaviours/marks completed by the
        mandated deadline.
     - While High School Reports are managed by the office, Middle &
        Elementary School Reports are managed by the homeroom teacher.

8) Print Off Grade 8 Report Cards & Prepare for Delivery
     - Once every teacher was completed and the report cards had been
       signed-off by our principal, it was then my responsibility to print off
       the Grade 8 report cards (since I am the homeroom teacher), address
       the envelopes, and deliver report cards in class.

     With Report Cards officially sent home, our next step includes prep for Parent-Teacher Interviews which occur this Thursday evening and Friday during the day; wish me luck!

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