Does not play well with others was the most common comment on my report cards usually followed by ,” does not work up to potential.” I probably still don’t do either of these well, but I try harder now.
Like all professions teachers have their own brand of private rough humor that is sometimes used to release the tensions and frustrations of a difficult job. I had a doctor tell me once that if you are in the hospital and see two doctors walking down the hall laughing you don’t really want to know what they are laughing about. This does not mean that they are bad doctors it simply means that if you can’t laugh at some of the things you see and experience they may very well destroy you. Like most teachers I worked very hard to find positive things to say and write about each child in my classroom. I am not a fan of faint or false praise but all students can be set up to be successful in some way in your classroom if you only take some time to think and understand that success is defined differently for every student. Having said that, many teachers also have a wish list of things they would like to say or put in the comment section of report cards but know that they shouldn’t and can’t. My two favorites are, “Gene pool too shallow.” And “Driveway does not reach all the way to the street.” In second place, “Student has reached rock bottom and started to dig, “and “Please try to remember to water, twice a week.” Third place goes to , “Student has illusions of adequacy.” and ” The crossing arms are moving the lights are flashing brightly and the bells are ringing loudly but there is no train.”