August 21, 2018

9 Tips for Better Behavior Comments

One of the most valuable gifts you can give parents is personal comments. See how to leave better comments in less time with these 9 tips!
LiveSchool 101: Happy Teachers, Engaged Students, and Better Data

Behavior comments give parents a glimpse into their children’s school life. It’s an invaluable tool to help students reflect, keep parents in the loop, and jog your own memory when preparing for parent conferences. Here are tips to make your comments as valuable as possible!

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1. Create criteria.

When do you leave a comment? Ask yourself  – Do the parents need to know about this? Is a comment needed in order for someone else to understand the situation?

2. Be specific.

Try to incorporate concrete examples whenever possible. Instead of “Not prepared”, let parents know that your student forgot to get her textbook from her locker during transition time. You don’t have to comment on everything students do in class – quality is better than quantity!

3. Stick to the facts.

Explain what happened without judgment. It’s easier for parents and students to focus on concrete facts when they’re not on the defensive.

4. Stay positive!

A positive tone can change how students and parents receive your feedback. Try replacing “Don’t” and “You didn’t” with “Please remember to.” Instead of “Don’t shout out answers during class,” try “Remember to raise your hand! 🙂”

5. Let students know the effect of their actions.

Students will be more likely to remember your feedback if you tell them why their behavior is important. For example, “Please raise your hand so all our teammates get an equal chance to participate.”

6. Use positive emojis.

Don’t be afraid to add a little flavor to your notes! ⭐️👍🏿👏🏽🤗🎈🎉

7. Include helpful details.

Provide those extra details that help parents support their child. For instance, a comment like “Please remember to bring materials to class” leaves parents 🤔. Details help parents take action – ”Please remember to bring your copy of Lord of the Flies!”

8. Don’t refer to other students.

Keep your notes focused on the person and situation at hand, and avoid mentioning other students by name for privacy.

9. Praise improvements.

Recognize those positive changes in behavior, however small! It’s motivating for students to know that their efforts will be recognized, and parents love knowing that their child is moving in the right direction – even if there’s still more improvement needed.

Your students and parents are going to love getting your comments. The extra time you invest is going to help your students reflect and improve – saving you time in the long term. Happy commenting!

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