Report Card Dictionary

An exasperated teacher explains what those report card messages really mean.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Report cards recently came out, and I’d like to clear the air. There isn’t nearly enough room in those tiny boxes to express just how brilliant us teachers think you all are. For those of you wondering what those cryptic messages really mean, here’s a heads up:

Highly motivated and cooperative

This is the epitome of the comment I can give. Words cannot express how much I enjoy having you in my classroom, especially these words. I worship you as a student. The thoughts and ideas you bring up bring joy to me each day. Now, please stop stalking my office during my lunch period.

Shows a great deal of effort

As the old adage goes, try your best, but be honest with yourself: was that really your best?

Works best in one-on-one situations

Oh my GOD, my heart goes out to any other teacher who has to have you as a student. I sympathize with anyone else who needs to isolate a student during instruction. Please control yourself and keep your mouth shut, or I will do it for you.

Is making steady progress

I’ve enjoyed seeing you grow as an individual over the course of the year. I’m glad you’ve found motivation for opening your textbook because I don’t want to spend the summer with you either. That counts as an improvement, right? You’re literally at rock bottom, and I’m glad you don’t have enough brainpower to use a pickaxe.

Active participant

Splendid. You’re doing everything you possibly can to achieve that sought-after B average in the “participation” section of your grade. It’s obvious that you eagerly offer to erase the board after class purely out of your love of polar curves and the kindness of your heart. The next step is raising your hand when I ask you to explain the logic behind the binomial theorem.

Outstanding homework

Remember the time I kept your homework as an example for my future Advanced Algebra classes? I, um, actually spilled my coffee on it. I still feel bad about that. Sorry.

Constantly cuts class

I’d refer you to r/hmmmm, but you’ve already seen all the memes on there anyway. At least I know you had an exciting high school career: you’ve become the protagonist of a Scooby-Doo chase scene (yes, I saw you on the way to my seventh-period lecture). Oh, and by the way, it’s amazing how you magically become my most enthusiastic student during SING! season, but we won’t talk about that.

Frequently misses assignments

The keyword here: “frequently.” Not always. There’s still hope that if you kiss up to me in enough ways, I won’t badmouth you too badly to your immigrant mother. I have a list. See me after class. ;)