It’s that time of year again – the school reports are out. Cue much Facebook boasting, including verbatim accounts of the teachers’ comments.
Mumsnet has posted the Mumsnet Report Codebreaker, as compiled by professional educators and semi-professional readers and archivists of these precious documents – loving and, it turns out, slightly gullible parents.
“Here is my favourite one from when DS2 was 6,” said one mumsnetter. “‘DS2 has a very well developed sense of fairness.’ Really? I thought. Does he? I’ve never noticed. Until I realised it translated into ‘DS2 feels hard done by very, very easily’. That I had noticed.”
An Actual Teacher then added to the feed to reveal her own code, which she was slightly nervous that parents in the local area may recognise. “One of my standard lines is ‘X is always eager to contribute to class discussions’ = X has to be reminded that other children want to get a word in at some point this morning. ‘X is considered a role model by other children’ = X leads others into mayhem! ‘X is keen to take on responsibility around the school’ = X leaps up all the time to volunteer to get the register/collect photocopying/open the door in order to avoid working. I may get banned from the teachers equivalent of the Magic Circle for revealing these.”
“Exuberant = won’t calm down!” wrote one mum, while another clarified the meaning of “‘X is always keen to participate in group discussions’ and is ‘an enthusiastic member of the class’ and ‘enjoys contributing her ideas’. In other words, she likes the sound of her own voice and never shuts up.”
Another mumsnetter reckons that “Lively = unable to sit in chair and do any work,” while “’Child Z has produced some satisfactory work this year’ = I can’t find anything else positive to say about your child, they are lazy and badly behaved but I have to start with a positive,” and “’Polite and quiet’ = has little personality.” Harsh but fair.
“I wish our teachers would write in code,” sighed one mum. “My son looks awful on paper.”