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  • Writer's pictureVaishnavi Suryawanshi

5 Things Every Report Card Should Have

When I ask my peers about the feeling of receiving a report card, these are some of the popular responses:

“The most horrible day of my life”

“I am scared”

“Ready for scoldings from my parents”

“Worried, anxious”

Many students hate report cards because most of the report cards include their academic grades. Although we say grades do not define how successful you will become or grades don’t define you as a student, ultimately grades do pressurize students. A report card gives an evaluation of the overall performance of the student. Grades are currently the spotlight of the report card. I believe grades are not the only factor that determines a student’s performance. It's just a small part and many other things together show the performance.

This article includes what all can be included in a report card to make it more optimistic for students.

1. Highlights of the Year

Report cards should include the highlight of the year of the student. This could be any moment where the student stood out in the school. This could be progress that the student made, an innovation that the student came up with. This small moment would turn out to be a memory for a student once they grow up.

For instance, I wish my 4th report card included the highlight of me giving a speech in front of a huge crowd during a school assembly for the first time.

This is a very simple moment, however it was significant for me because that was the first time when I tried to expand my comfort zone by allowing myself to be in front of a large crowd. 

2. Comments and Appreciation by Classmates

Many report cards do include teachers' comments. These comments are academic. Report cards should also include comments and appreciation from peers. Peers and classmates are a very significant part of a student’s life. When the student revisits the report card after a few years they have the evidence to reflect on how they were as a person.

For instance, my peers gave me letters in grade 6 and one common thing that stood out to me from all the letters was how they admired my problem-solving skill.

If this had been there in my grade 6 report card, it would have been a reminder for me to continue with my skill which everybody admired. 

3. Candid Art Work

In school, children also explore their interest areas. Every student has interest in some or the other type of art form. Someone may like painting, sketching, a few may like sports, dance etc. The report card can include maybe a picture of their artwork or a candid photograph of the student living their interest.

I wish my report card had a candid picture of me playing cricket. 

4. Self-Reflection

The content in report cards is mostly created by the school team. Students never add anything in the report card. The students should also add something of their own in the report card. There should be a small reflection corner, where the student adds what went well for them throughout the year, what could have been better.

For example, I would love to add about the perseverance I kept in myself throughout my grade 10 board year journey. Similarly I would also add how I could have been more consistent and focused on my health as a reflection.  

5. Mission Statement

The report card should have a mission statement of the student. This mission statement can be created based on their reflections. This mission statement could be used for the next academic year. Another way could be a mission statement based on what the student has achieved throughout the year.

If I had to craft a mission statement, it would be something like this:

“I will keep growing despite facing drawbacks in this academic year. My purpose as a student is to use my academic learning to create a change in society. I aspire to do this by involving myself in community projects in school.”

A report card is an important document for a student. It spotlights their academic journey. Report cards can be made more appealing by giving more voice to the students. A report card has to be personal and must highlight why the student is unique, rather than just labeling the student with the academic grades. A report card which includes things listed above can transform the students responses about their feelings on receiving the report card. Imagine students waiting for their report cards, saying

“I am excited to check my candid art work”, or

“I am curious to read my peers’ comments”

Written by Vaishnavi Suryawanshi

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