It’s that time of year again. Teachers up and down the land have been slaving over their end-of-year reports and parents are eagerly awaiting to hear whether or not their little angels are top of the class.
But what does “full of self-confidence” or “lively and enthusiastic” really mean?
We asked one teacher – who goes under the name of Mrs Smith – to let us know what those positive-spin comments actually mean.
Here are her thoughts:
- Is a sociable member of the class: Doesn’t really come to school to work, much prefers having a gossip in the toilets
- Knows their own mind: Not particularly good at doing what they are asked to do
- Always enthusiastic when working in a group: Likes to be in charge, a proper bossy boots
- Full of self-confidence: A little too arrogant and won’t take being told they are wrong
- Needs to channel their enthusiasm into their own work: Please get on with your own work and leave the rest of the class to get on with their own
- Is always curious: Shows too much interest in anything and everything except their work
- Enthusiastic contributor to class discussions: Always has an opinion on everything and shares it loudly at every opportunity
- Displays excellent listening skills: Never has an opinion on anything, would rather self-combust than put their hand up
- Open to new ideas: Easily led into poor behaviour
- Wonderful unique character: Thank goodness there is only one like you in my class
- Has shown an interest in self-guided learning: Decides on a daily basis which work to complete
- Has an interesting and inquiring mind: Does your child ever stop asking questions?
- Occasionally lacks focus: Sits as far from the window as possible to prevent daydreaming
- Has a strong sense of right and wrong: Bit of a telltale if we are honest
- Lively and enthusiastic: Goodness me your child is hard work
- Has a wide circle of friends: I have run out of seats to put your child in where they won’t chat
- Knows the school rules well: Is reminded by me of them daily
- Makes everyone smile: Bit of a clown
- A bubbly, fun-loving personality: Honestly child, calm it down a little
- Is ready for a new challenge: I’m counting down the days until the end of term
- Enjoys working independently: Finds sharing hard
- Is a pleasure to teach: Honestly, your child has helped preserve my sanity this year
Illustrations by Katie Horwich. Produced by Katherine Sellgren.