As the end of the Australian school year quickly approaches I have found myself once again writing reports for each of my students. Giving each student a progress report is something that I had not considered in my private studio until I expanded my teaching practice into schools and was required to write reports every 6 months. I now do this in my private studio as well, with very positive results.
There are great benefits for students, parents and teachers that come from taking the time to reflect and report on student progress. Some of the benefits include -
- Reports give parents valuable feedback and insight into the process of learning an instrument. This often enables parents to assist their children in undertaking more focused practice sessions.
- Reports highlight student achievement (performances, exams, competitions).
- Reports allow students to reflect on how far they have progressed in the past 6 months.
- Reports give teachers an opportunity to reflect on student progress and assess the areas that need attention in the next phase of learning.
There are many formats and ways of reporting. I have designed a report template that has some check boxes at the top, followed by an area to list student achievement and participation, and a section at the bottom of the page for general comments.
The first section of the report consists of check boxes showing the general level of achievement for various elements of playing, including technique, posture, organisation, practice, aural skills, tone production and note reading skills.
The second section of the report allows me to list activities in which students have participated, including concerts, competitions, exams and accompanying.
The final section of the report allows for general comments. In this section of the report I always begin with a positive comment on the student’s progress, then I comment on areas that need focus and attention in the future, and once again end with a positive comment.
I would love to hear how other teachers use reporting in their studios. Please feel free to leave a comment below.