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Student report card comments are important as it provides the teacher’s candid assessment of how the learner is fairing both in academic as well as extra-curricular activities. As such, it is important that it be as objective and honest as possible.

These are just a few of the common report card feedback that teachers give their students at the end of the school term.

  • Exceptional performance!
  • It is not too late to record an improvement!
  • Pull up your socks! Balance your efforts!
  • More effort is needed!

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What is a report card?

A report card is an important document since it communicates the learner’s performance against a set of grades. Most often, these grades are used to determine whether the student will be promoted to the next grade or not. Besides academic performance, report card remarks are also made on the basis of the learner’s discipline level as well as other extracurricular activities.

When writing report card comments, it is important that you emphasize on the learner’s existing strengths and look for ways to make him or her improve in areas of weakness. The following statements and phrases can help teachers compose objective comments for each student. Composing a report card comment that inspires ambition within the student can empower them to make positive changes in their academics as well as other areas of their lives. Therefore, it is important that the teacher provides specific examples whenever they can to make the report card as reflective as possible of the student’s strengths and weaknesses.

Report card comments essential points

  • Focus on the learner’s positive attributes
  • Use words like struggles, require, or seldom to show when the learners need extra help with a specific subject
  • Recommend areas that the learner need to improve in. However, be sure to do this in a way that will not make the parent feel you are being hard on the learner unjustifiably. For instance, you can list the negative under a comments section titled areas to improve on
  • Detailed and supportive comments are key to providing parents with ways to partner with the teacher to empower the learner for better results

Behavior and identity comments

Use phrases that present information in a clear and concise manner about the learner’s classroom temperament, providing recommendations for improvement where necessary.

Examples of behavior and identity comments include:
  • Joe has a great attitude toward school and education.
  • Susan is an enthusiastic learner who seems to enjoy mastering new concepts.
  • Mark is striving to reach his full potential.
  • Peggy takes initiatives and enjoys thinking things through for herself.
  • Jared exhibits a very positive outlook and attitude towards his classmates.
  • Jacky is a very friendly and cooperative student.
  • Andrew is a self-confident and well-mannered student.
  • Carl is honest and quite trustworthy when dealing with his teachers and fellow students.
  • Cate is consistently developing a better attitude toward her schoolwork this term.
  • Vicky needs to improve on her classroom attitude by learning to better collaborate with her classmates.
  • Angela needs to work more on sharing with others and being a better friend.

Teacher comments should celebrate the learner while providing a constructive assessment as necessary. Provide examples of what is working well for the student, acknowledging the areas they are truly good at while providing information not only on where they need to improve in but also how they can improve on those areas.

Examples of good behavior and what needs improvement comments include:
  • Jackie continues to make beautiful progress this year in the following areas…
  • As we discussed in our last parent-teacher meeting, Susan’s attitude toward basic skills is…
  • I will continuously need your input and support in order for Jackie to overcome her attitude and social challenges. She will school a much more pleasant place when she makes a positive effort in these areas…
  • Joe’s attitude has continuously improved. Thank you for continued support and cooperation…
  • Anthony has shown tremendous attitude about trying to improve in social studies. It is my sincere hope that this recent interest and improvement will extend to other subjects during this school year and beyond…

Cooperation and Behavior comments

As a teacher, it is important that you spend time reflecting not only on grades but also on how the students are conducting themselves in class. Class participation is an important component of the grading model, and your comments should focus on addressing the level of student’s participation.

For instance, you may say something like, Catherine is an active learner throughout the school day and enthusiastically participates in all class activities. Your comments should also address the learner’s behavior, both negative and positive.

Examples of cooperation and behavior comments include:
  • Joe consistently takes an active role in class discussions.
  • Susan needs to actively participate in classroom discussions.
  • Judy is a great team player. She attentively listens to the responses of other group members during class discussions.
  • Andrew is courteous and demonstrates exceptional manners in the classroom.
  • Matthew is very friendly and consistently cooperates with the teacher as well as fellow classmates.
  • Alice is kind and always helpful to everyone in the classroom.
  • Jack is kind, caring, and very eager to learn.
  • Cruz needs to focus on paying attention to directions.
  • Timothy needs to work on staying focused on his tasks.
  • Maria needs to work on not distracting others during classwork.

Class preparation and academic habit comments

Learners who are adequately prepared for class and possess strong organization and study habits can greatly benefit from being reminded that these simple, yet extremely important, skills are properly recognized and well appreciated.

Similarly, learners who are not properly prepared, rush their work, or do not invest adequate time on their assignments ought to know that these behaviors are noted and will not be tolerated. Your comments should clearly focus on providing recognition of the learner’s skills and provide parents with insights into areas in which learners need to improve.

Examples of recognition and improvement comments include:
  • James is always well-prepared for class every day.
  • Janice rushes through her work and does not work at an appropriate pace.
  • Catherine never complete her assignments in the allocated time.
  • Lucy has great comprehension skills. However, she needs to work more quickly.
  • Michael puts his best effort into his homework assignments.
  • Mercy stays on her assignments with very limited supervision.
  • Andrew is a self-motivated learner.
  • John has the tendency to sacrifice speed for unnecessary speed in his written assignments.
  • Timothy completes his assignment in the allocated time.
  • Cynthia avoids careless errors through attention to detail.
  • Judy uses her class time wisely.
  • Tamara needs to keep her desk and cubby better organized.

Interaction and overall comments

How a learner relates to classmates and makes friends can be an important indicator of their personalities, as well as areas they need to improve in to be successful in life. Your remarks should reflect the learner’s abilities to work individually, in groups, and if they are well-behaved individuals. Therefore, be sure to pay attention to how learners interact with each other not just within the classroom environment, but also during recess or on the field where there is limited teacher contact or direct supervision.

Examples of interaction and overall education include:
  • Arthur needs to be more accepting and ready to make new friends with his peers…
  • Mercy responds well to positive feedback and defined expectations…
  • Alice is learning to be cooperative, careful, and fair…
  • Anthony works well in teams, planning and executing activities…
  • Celine works democratically with classmates…
  • Charles makes little effort with minimal supervision…
  • John needs a lot of practice and repetition in order to retain given information…
  • Jacky demonstrates great acts of self-confidence in …
  • Jenifer uses a range of learning strategies to help with…
  • Jack applies knowledge of…
  • Catherine seeks responsibilities and follows through…
  • Felix needs more opportunities to…
  • Angela writes clearly and with focus…

Words of insight comments

Here are some helpful words that you should consider including in your report card remarks:

Ambitious, aggressive, confident, anxious, dependable, cooperative, developing, determined, friendly, energetic, helpful, happy, emerging, imaginative, resourceful, observant, neat, generous, quiet, improving, reliant, prompt, polite and receptive.

It is important that you stress the positive qualities and note goals to work on to inform the parents about their kids’ negatives. Consider using words like struggles, requires, or seldom to show when the learner needs extra help. Ensure that you highlight the areas the student to work on in a way that does not make parents feel like you are hard on their children.

A positive spin on report card comments

You can spin the phrases mentioned above to pinpoint areas that the learner needs to improve in by adding the words Needs to. To give negative comments a more positive spin, list them under comments section titled goals to improve on. Most important, do not provide negative feedback that appears offensive to the parent.