It’s that time of the year again – reports! For most of us it can be a stressful time where juggling life and work can definitely be a challenge. So in order to make this process a little bit easier, I’ve got four tips to help you successfully climb that mountain.
- Set yourself up for success
I have three simple words…data, data, data!
At the end of the day your reports will be so much easier to write if you have done the assessments and have the data. No matter what format your reports take, there’s nothing worse than realising you don’t have enough information and that you have to go back and collect more.
Organising your assessments plays a big part in this as well. After all you don’t want to take up even more time sifting through piles of paper and books. Make sure you find a way of collecting your assessments and data in a way that really works for you. These days there are so many options; files, data binders, excel spreadsheets, the list goes on! For me I love the simple expandable file. For only $6 at Kmart you have a handy carry case with an area for each of your students’ work. Taking it home is super easy and portable, and I am never in the position where I have to sift through paper or worry that my data might be accidentally deleted. If you are someone that loves everything digital then I would recommend ALWAYS having a backup – whether that be a USB, portable hard drive, or a reliable server like Google Drive. Unfortunately I used to collect my data digitally until my computer crashed, as did my hard drive, and I lost everything in one fell swoop!
2. Pace yourself
Setting up a timeline (even though sometimes you might not completely stick to it) is a really handy thing to do. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely know that life can get in the way and plans go out the window, but even having a timeline in the back of your mind can really help to put your mind at ease. My friend at work is a master of this and because of that she still has time to see friends and family – and not let work take over her life!
3. Draw a line in the sand
When tackling reports it’s always good to draw a line in the sand. Use the reporting timeline your school has given you and calculate how much time you will need to write them – in a way that isn’t last minute and is achievable for yourself and where you’re at. Sometimes this line can really help because ultimately we want our reports to reflect the most current place our students are in their learning, but we don’t want to take it too far so that we run out of time to write them.
4. Make it enjoyable
Finally, why write your reports in a mundane office environment when you can make it enjoyable for yourself? At the end of the day they have to get done and take up so much time, so why not write them in a place that relaxes you? For me I love heading to my favourite cafe’ or just sitting on our court yard on the day bed. It’s almost refreshing being in a new and different environment. You won’t feel bound by the need to write them, but that they’re just something you need to do while you’re out living life.
So with all that said I hope that these four tips really help and refresh the way that you write your reports, and that at least one of them makes things that little bit easier for you.
And don’t forget – you will get there! Term four will end on a high note, and you will get to those amazing summer holidays we so love and need. So be inspired, be organised, but most of all have confidence in yourself that you CAN do this.
You are an amazing teacher and the elation of finishing reports is just around the corner.
Much love always,