Communication Book Silliness

Many schools ask teachers to write comments about their students progress and the such. Yet the schools ask the teacher not to write anything bad. Here is an excerpt from one teacher’s book that may help. :smiley:

From “Kitty Spankin’ Productions and Mistress Olga Presents _______ Language School’s Teacher’s Guide”
(That’s the real name!)

"Here is a list of comments you can use and the double meaning that they sometimes imply.

1.) “Super job”…“I can’t think of anything else to say”

2.) “Good work”… “I am running out of new phrases to use.”

3.) “So-and-so is improving”…" So-and-so finally pulled his/her head out of his/her arse."

4.) “So-and-so was very active in class today”…“So-and-so was acting like a complete idiot. I didn’t get anything done in class today because you, the parent, have not taught your child any manners. Both you and your child needs to be spanked.”

5.) “Test next class”…“You might want to consider at least opening your books at home. If nothing else, it will air out your book bag.”

6.) “Please do your homework”… “Why don’t you pay attention to what your child is doing instead of parking your fat arse in front of the TV every night.”

7.) “Please sign the communication book”…“If you don’t give a shit, how can you ask us to?”

8.) “Please try to focus more”…“Your child should stop drooling and staring off into space.”

9.) “We need to discuss So-and-so’s behavior”…“You need to arrange a session with our in-house dominatrix.”


I actually got fired a couple of years ago at an anxiban for being honest. It was the first time I’d had to write those little reports and I didn’t know the rules of the game. There was one student who was being an absolute brat, totally disrupting class all the time, and so I wrote in the communication book a note to his mother about the kid’s behavior. The mother blew up and raised hell at the school, saying that if the kid was disruptive and noisy, it must be because I was a bad teacher. I’d only been working at the school for a couple of months - I wasn’t a long-time trusted teacher at the place, just a newbie they didn’t know much about - so they let me go. At least they were nice enough to hold on to my ARC until I found another job I could transfer it to.

It’s below me to lie about a child and say that he is a good student when he is not.
That’s a big difference between “us” and “them”. Lying isn’t an important part of our culture.
I don’t think any parent in the West would appreciate a teacher saying, “Oh… Yes… Your son speaks French very well and is a model student.”, if it’s not true!
I’m sure someone else has said this already, in the West the faculty of the schools decide what happens and here it is the parents and students who are in charge!

[quote]I’m sure someone else has said this already, in the West the faculty of the schools decide what happens and here it is the parents and students who are in charge!
I think this applies more to kindergartens disguised as language schools and cram schools. They are essentially businesses, not schools, and you are supposed to “keep the customer” happy.
I’m sure the situation is different in elementary and high schools, i.e. “real” schools. Or am I mistaken?

When I worked at Hess many moons ago the NST would have to write comments in the comm. book at the end of each three-month level. Mostly I’d just write bull like ‘Reading and grammar are improving. Keep working on your phonics. Pronounciation is great’ etc just to fill in the box. Big words helped.
Students and parents generally only paid attnetion to the comments of the Chinese teacher. Was I lazy or indifferent? Nah. I just didn’t see that writing the comments made a shred of difference.

Even dumber were the monthly reports we had to write for each class in order to get our pay. Similar bull to the commumications books. The Head NSTs would skim read them just to see you’d done it, but really it was all a pointless administrative exercise.

I love DB’s post!

I am going to offer it to my staff.
With the report books I usually play with the students minds.
My bad side of the page for checking has different levels of bad, some of them translate to nothing, but the kids don’t know that. I tell them that I should check all the bad things this week but I wont, I give them a chance and if they are bad next time I will check it. It usually works, I have checked a couple of bad boxes in my time though.

Now I just organise special catch up classes :smiling_imp: When the parents and the kids are put out and have to come at a special time :smiling_imp: All out of concern for their progress. :wink:

I even told a local teacher to check a bad box once, she stared at me in disbelief but she still did it.

I find that the threat that the bad check boxes implies is better than actually doing it and the “special catch up classes” work great too.

But then again at our school we have a good guy boss and a bad guy boss. I am the bad guy boss, the kids love me but are scared shitless when I catch them being bad. No, I don’t punish them with anything severe. We just have a heart to heart, in “Chinese”, that is enough to freak em out. “oh shite” the foreigner can talk to my parents, it is written all over their faces. That works and the parents never get to hear all the bad stuff, unless they really deserve it.

I fear you may be mistaken. Several of the high schools I’ve worked at wanted regular assessments of their students. My first experience of this demonstrated that the school wanted the parents to receive platitudes which demonstrated the wisdom of their decision to choose that school. I had taken the trouble to honestly appraise every kids’ progress to date, and got in the shit for saying things that weren’t nice.

The other thing that I learned from this exercise was that most parents are not actively involved in their little darling’s education. They expected me to handle that, and send home glowing notes telling them how smart their kid was.

I described one 11-yr old as disrupitive and lazy, which he was. Instead of doing anything about it they sent me a note back saying: “Noted. Please correct it.” - Like I have nothing better to do than spend the lesson dealing with one problem kid!

Before I got hired into my current job I made a point of telling my employer that I was there to teach, and only to teach. With over 600 students there’s no way I’m going to be able to know and fairly assess them all, and I’m not going to spend the time - unpaid - on such a pointless exercise.

He made the decision to hire me with this knowledge in his mind, but seems to have thought that I was joking! I’m now being asked to do it all again. This is the school that told me there was nothing they could do when I bitched that the kids were not doing homework, or keeping the worksheets that we prepare for them.

It’s all about money, going through the motions, and looking good in Taiwan high schools. I haven’t actually taught for the last three weeks because I’ve been administering tests the whole time. School started back 8 weeks ago. If these buffoons want ‘assessments’ writing then I’ll do them in class time while the poor kids revise for the next test - but I’m not going to give up more than 10 hrs (assuming I can write one per minute.) unpaid for something so pointless.

No, they would say “makes an effort,” “is active in class,” etc. The same bullshit as in Banes’ post above. Parents are more inclined to blame the teacher for the problem now than they were a generation ago – do they even fail people any more? (No I don’t have the stats to back up any of these generalizations, I’m just basing in on anecdotes and stuff that I’ve read in the National Enquirer).

Except at some universities, where professor evaluations are playing an increasingly bigger role.

Last week, I had a parent ask me to tell her child to stop watching so much TV at home.

Another parent told me that her child did not do the homework because the kid watched TV all weekend.

A third mama told our supervisor at another school to please teach her kid how to sweep the floor and clean a table. The mother said that when she asked her son to do that at home, the son said “No”.

Needless to say, this stuff has been archived in my "Complete and Utter Bullshit " list.