News, updates, and happenings at Burlington High School (MA)
i find that teachers may have mixed thoughts but i certainly enjoy how the new progress reports have removed much ambiguity from the old ones. Now when my parents receive it and if im doing bad in a class (not saying that i am, hypothetically speaking, of course) they will know WHY at least to some extent. Good job Principle Larkin
I think the progress reports are terrible. This is just another way for Mr. Larkin to give the teachers busy work as if they didn't have enough work already.
Mr. Larkin,I think that's a wonderful idea. Prior mid term reports really weren't helpful to the parents. Communication through school and home works so well for the interest of the kids.Thank you. Great Idea. Keep up the great work.
I think the new progress reports give students and their parents a better picture of how students are doing in class, instead of vague comments like "Your son is making satisfactory/unsatisfactory progress" from the previous progress reports. My one concern is that they are taking too much time out of classes.
I think these progress reports are unneccesary, and not only do the students have no clue hwat they are being used for, the teachers don't as well. In most of my classes we take the sheets home and pass them in to the teacher the next day. There is no interaction between the student and the teacher, so the whole process is futile. As a student, I get the feedback as I did with the normal progress reports. Therefore, we should return to the normal reports in the third term, or make changes to this format. Lastly, progress reports just tell the student what they already know. If a student is doing well in a class he or she knows it, and if a student if doing poorly in a class they know that too.
So far:- My teachers all seem annoyed by the progress reports (they take time away from class; must look up averages, etc.)- A couple teachers have chosen not to give them out because they are so against the new system (obviously won't name any names...)- The ones I have completed I haven't shown my parents because I've lost the paper or just don't think it's worth it. I have written almost identical statements on each one of the progress reports. The questions and comments that the students must leave are the same for each course in the entire school. Some questions don't even apply to my classes but yet I'm forced to fill them out?- All in all, it seems quite unsuccessful. Hopefully this will be a learning experience. In my opinion, parents should only be notified half way through semesters if there is a problem or a student is failing.Thanks!- Junior at BHS [class of '10]
After running through the new process for interim reports, I did a de-brief session with my juniors about it and they offered the following observations: 1. They thought that students have too much control over sharing them with parents, though they admitted that the motivated student can pick reports out of the mailbox as well… 2. They reported that the form doesn’t draw out information that is valuable for either parents or self-aware students; many of them already know their strengths and weaknesses. Adding a section about an action plan for improvement would be more helpful. 3. They said that interims themselves aren’t helpful unless the students are struggling and unaware of it. 4. They found it was a very good process when the teacher and the student took the time to both compose and share the contents verbally; writing helped them frame their thoughts and the teacher offered good insight in the meeting afterward. 5. However, not many of their teachers took the time to have a real conversation; most skimmed the sheet, signed it and handed it back, which they felt defeated the purpose and was not valuable. 6. Many were concerned about the use of so much paper, and suggested that more of this be made electronic. 7. Many admitted to being resistant to the form/process because it was change. 8. Many felt that a weakness was their having to estimate the grade, rather than have the teacher provide it at the outset. 9. Some felt that giving this type of feedback was properly the responsibility of the teacher, though an equal number felt that they should be involved in the process of assessing their progress. 10. Some thought that a narrative comment written by the teacher would be effective, but recognized the time involved would make such an activity impractical. 11. Finally, they raised the question of who the audience of the interim report is, and what purpose it serves. If it is for the parents, then this isn’t useful and the old form is better. If it is for the students, it is useful, but needs refinement. If the purpose is to catch students in jeopardy, then they asked why should they all do it, but if it is to inform everyone of their progress, then the form needs to be refined.On the whole, I applaud the notion of involving students in a dialog about their progress or the lack thereof. Becoming self-reflective is a life skill that can’t be stressed enough in school. Though it raises legitimate concerns about how much time it takes away from the coverage of content, I believe that taking the time to have the teacher meet with students directly to provide constructive feedback on their collective progress is both authentic and impactful; learning how to have such conversations is fundamental to the work place, no matter what the career. It also removes ambiguity about expectation and allows for a personal connection to be formed, which leads to a better learning experience for the student, and a better understanding of the student as a person by the teacher. That said, I would suggest that the faculty discuss how to improve this process so it can maximize the benefits and minimize the costs. Yes, filling in bubble charts is less time consuming, and yes, this new process does add to the responsibilities of all parties. Sometimes you have to give up what is easy for what is good. I hope that we can go forward collectively to make the process of providing feedback both useful and good for all involved.
I find it embarassing that I have a more extensive mid year report than my eight year old brother's report card. I am 18 years old, a legal adult and yet there are hand written reports "going home to my parents", (no one is bringing these home". This is a complete step backwards for technology and our school as a whole. Parents should have an option whether or not they want these reports, because if your child is doing well in that class there is no point of it. This just makes more work and stress for teachers, not to mention takes up valueble class time. Way to go BHS, you have officially managed to ruin mid-terms, quite the accomplishment.