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  • Writer's pictureNivrrithi Arvindkumar

5 Ingredients that make a “Flavourful” Progress Report

Unlocking the secret to the perfect report card isn’t just about grades; it’s about crafting a comprehensive snapshot of a student’s journey. What most educators fail to realize that, when it comes to a report card, strangely, it’s like curating a delectable dish- selecting the finest ingredients is not far from a teacher putting together a report card that documents and captures the essence of a student’s educational growth or areas of improvement.

It’s now become a dreaded piece of paper that holds meaningless numbers and default remarks that make no significant difference in one’s life. Or I could say, it has no flavor. But what seasoning can we add to make the dish a.k.a a report card a successful recipe? That’s exactly what I’ve set out to do in this listicle- 5 things that I think make a jubilant progress report!

  1. Transforming our grading system- instead of using terms like “poor”, using constructive words like “needs improvement”, or “developing skills” could prove to be much better motivators. This shift in language could emphasize more on improvement rather than degrading a student’s ongoing efforts. It could highlight specific areas where they can focus their efforts to enhance their understanding of the material. 

  1. Behavior assessment- the idea of a report card is to track a student’s progress and measure their growth and point out where they could strive harder. As institutions age, the real purpose behind a progress report is lost. Now, report cards are purely academic, which may not always have the desired effect on students; empowerment. Instead, a professional assessment on behavior underscoring a pupil’s strengths and areas of improvement could be a breath of relief in a report filled with scores and percentages.


  1. Graphs- Pictorial representation has always proved to move people- somehow, people respond better to shapes and colors than writing. So I propose having a chart, or a segment, which shows the upgrade/ downgrade in a student’s performance academically and behaviourally. This method doesn’t consist of demeaning numbers or taunting scores and prompts students to bring their A-game to the next term.


  1. Refining teachers’ remarks: In most of the report cards I’ve received, all I’ve gotten is a “Good”. Although it is much appreciated, it doesn’t seem to have any effect on a student whatsoever. Instead, a teacher highlighting areas of improvement under the “remarks” table for each subject (or the needed subjects) could show that facilitators are concerned and aware of a student’s performance and are willing to help the individual work towards growth. 

  1. Acknowledge recreational/ extracurricular activities- This shows a student that academics doesn’t define one’s worth and could enlighten unaware parents about the prospect of a child excelling in extracurriculars like clubs, arts or P.E. It doesn’t necessarily have to have a label, such as “A” or “C” but simply an overview of the student’s performance in that particular activity.

A well-rounded, or rather, flavorful report card should encompass various aspects of school life, much like how an appetizing dish combines a diverse array of ingredients to create a satisfying meal. Without considering factors such as academic performance, attendance, behavior, and extracurricular involvement, the report card would be akin to a dish missing key flavors – lacking depth and richness. Just as a delicious dish tantalizes the taste buds with a blend of flavors, a good report card should provide a holistic view of students' growth and development. It acknowledges the multifaceted nature of education and strives to capture the richness of one's educational journey, just how a chef wills to incorporate the myriad of flavor profiles to achieve harmony in taste. Except, creating a meal isn’t as decisive as the future of a student, is it?

Written by Nivrrithi Arvindkumar

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