Report Card Comments

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    sof davar

    As an educator who is currently laboring over report card comments (each word and phrase is measured and re-written; did it sufficiently convey what I wanted to say? Is that word too strong? Too soft? Etc.) I can’t help but wonder how carefully parents read and scrutinize my words.

    So, do you just take a quick glance at the grades and toss the paper? Do you read and re-read every word of the comment trying to infer what the teacher/Rebbe really thought about your child? Is it somewhere in between?

    Let me know.

    Thanks for the distraction, now I have to get back to the report cards.


    I sympathize. I just finished an 8 hour marathon of working on grades and comments……I also write like it is Torah Shebiksav……. and each year I ind that there are many parents who do not even read them. But my job is still to do what is right………

    a mamin

    I analyze every comment made in reference to my children. though I will say not all mechanchim take it as seriously as you do.

    always here

    “I analyze every comment made in reference to my children. though I will say not all mechanchim take it as seriously as you do.”

    same here (in the past.. my children are all married now, B’H).


    As a kid, I used to read and reread every single comment and analyze them. I don’t think my parents did. I found that the teachers all used the same lines…:) Remember that the students read the comments also – even if they aren’t supposed to.


    In some of my report cards part of the comment didnt make sence, they get a dictionary and find some really fancy word and put it on…!!!

    sof davar

    Rabbaim – Mazal Tov on being finished! I know that when I am done this batch, I won’t have to do it again for 6 more months!

    Almost there.


    I think it is more important for teacher and parents to be in touch regularly during the school year, than what will be written on the report card comment. Also, sometimes things are written that lend themselves to multiple interpretations and could create problems if the student is transferring to a different school. Personally, I don’t pay too much attention to the report card, unless it says something surprising that the teacher hasn’t communicated already.


    I can’t wait for my menahel to read and try to convince me to edit!! Too strongly worded for the son of the gvir……..

    He actually once edited grades and comments without my permission. I discovered it when I looked at a transcript to write a more personalized letter of rec.

    tomim tihye

    I don’t analyze the comments because I know my kids better than the teachers do.


    My husband is a special educator, so his comments have to be particularly precise and comprehensive. He agonizes (I exaggerate a bit) over every word. I think that a teacher ought to choose his/her words carefully. Parents ARE reading the comments, and you want them to truly get what you are saying.


    sof davar-

    We always read the report card comments. The time the rabeim and teachers take to add a remark is appreciated and shows they take an interest in the child beyond just getting the grading over and done with.

    When I was in elementary school, I once brought home a report card with the following comment on it, from my rebbe:

    “From outer space!”

    That was it. Verbatim. Not paraphrased. I still remember it well, several decades later.

    I don’t think it was meant as a compliment.

    (I don’t hold it against the rebbe. He was reasonably nice, and I was a difficult student – his frustration probably got the better of him. Years later, when he was no longer a rebbe, I had business dealings with him and never mentioned this incident.)


    wtvr you do dont just write that the kid is “very kind” or “very sweet” HI. EVERY kid is kind and sweet. parents want to hear more of a personalized message and compliment on their kid. and so do the kids….

    am yisrael chai

    “From outer space!”

    Maybe the rebbe meant he was over the moon with u as his student 🙂

    or on cloud 9…


    I read and reread the comments my teachers wrote. Teachers out there: know that it means the world to your student when they know you’re proud or think highly of them! Also please make sure the compliment is true. Don’t write the kid’s responsible when they’re not. Don’t shower too many compliments, it loses its value. Always start with something positive and go on to the criticism.

    Oh and btw, I always appreciated the time and effort the teachers put into those comments. So if any of you ever were or currently are my teacher: thank you! And to all the teachers out there who’re working hard: Good luck.


    many parents not only read and analyze but also save report cards, so it pays to be careful what you write because the child may look at it 30-40 years down the road.


    A couple years ago, my daughter was having a difficult time adjusting to a new school. She was telling me everything was fine, so I was shocked when I was called into the principal’s office. The school social worker proceeded to point out where she had highlighted the word “impulsive” every time it appeared in the comment section of my daughter’s report cards, going back to kindergarten.

    I felt completely blindsided. This was the first I was hearing that there was a problem, never mind a serious problem and never mind that it had been going on for a couple months. It was several weeks before I really grasped the whole situation: my daughter felt vulnerable and insecure in the new environment and was acting out because she didn’t know how to handle it. Unfortunately neither did anyone at the school, and when they realized they had dropped the ball, they went looking through her records to find a way to avoid accountability for it.

    Both her morah and her GS teacher were first year teachers (and the GS teacher was fired a couple months later), the general studies principal was new, and the special services coordinator was either new or on maternity leave. Plus my daughter was one of 4 new girls in a class of 24 – seemingly she just fell through the cracks.

    I felt horrible and told them I would do anything I could to help her. I also told them I wanted to be informed MUCH sooner than I previously had been. If only they had been upfront sooner, maybe things would have started out much better for my daughter.

    This school also seems to keep parents at bay unless they need them to do scut work. The office is not a warm place. I haven’t found another school that’s a better fit as far as hashkafa, so we’re stuck for now. I will say that her morah this year was just fantastic, but I dread next year, because I can seeing it being like oil and water…

    This evolved into more than I planned, so to answer your question… yes, I do read report card comments!


    the last report card of the year should focus on the positive as opposed to areas where the student needs improvement. Leave the student & his parents feeling good, not bad about the school year.


    It is obvious to my wife and I when a Rebbe puts some thought into his comment and when he pulls a tired, well worn cliche out of the closet.


    I’ve got three things to say: Substance, substance, and substance.

    Frum jews are the masters of hyperbole. We manage to say wonderful sounding things which are so broad they mean nothing. (Like the previous sentence, for example.)

    Say something substantial. Don’t say “a pleasure to have in my class”; say “asks good questions which show he is listening and interested.” Don’t say, “has wonderful middos”; say, “includes the less popular classmates in games and jokes.”


    At the end of the year there is no point writing any bad comment, the grades are there to know the facts, the comments should be something positive so the kid (and the parents of course)knows that no matter what was going on during the year the teacher realy liked himher and was only meening their good.


    Ezrat Hashem- 100%! A parent should in no way, shape or form be surprised by what is found on the report card. Constant feedback and parent-teacher cooperation is the true way to ensure that the child receives the best possible education. I work in a profession where if I don’t get parent feedback, I’m at a loss and quite frankly, I lose some measure of interest in reaching goals with that child compared to the effort I place on the child whose parents call me often. Parent-teacher involvement shows each side cares and really gets results. I wish it was done more often….


    The parents look, and so do the kids. Does a kid really need to have years of report card comments that all say the same thing- “a pleasure to have in class” or something that basically says in fancy language “is smart”? B”H not the opposite for either of those, but…it hurts. Sometimes the parent cares more,and sometimes less, but the child almost always cares, regardless of whether he/she admits it. Thank you to all those that work so hard! I know it’s hard, and there are a lot of comments to make, so I’m not complaining (even though it sounds that way, sorry!)and I really appreciate all that all of my teachers have done for me, so if you’re here, thanks! (sorry observateen, not trying to copy you) :0)

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