School reports and social media

So as school finishes for another year, I don’t mind betting that at least 95% of parents have received a school report (or two, or three) in the last couple of weeks. How was yours? Something to smile about? Something to celebrate? Did you reward your kids for their effort and their good grades?

And, like all true 21st century social media addicted parents, did you shout about it on Facebook?

When I received two perfect school reports (and I mean PERFECT, not quite good, not very good), I was blown away once more by my kids. Not by their natural intelligence and talent, but by the fact that they still work and try their best. They don’t need to, they’d still get top grades, but they don’t take that attitude. Oh, and they try just as hard in sport, music, art and ICT as they do in English and Maths. I really couldn’t have been prouder.

Did I go and write about it on Facebook immediately? No I didn’t. I didn’t want to appear smug. I didn’t want to rub it in the faces of all the families who didn’t get perfect school reports.

But then I looked at Facebook and everyone was writing about the school reports: ‘So proud of little Johnny’ ‘Well done to Timmy for an excellent school report’ etc etc.

So what did I do? I followed suit. Because I’m a sheep. Because I wanted everyone to know that my kids were as good as theirs. And, if my kids ever asked (which they wouldn’t, but you know, they might), I wanted to tell them, yes, I congratulated them on their school reports on Facebook. Even though they’re not on there. Even though they will never read it. I wanted them to know I’d publicly shared my pride, not just privately. Even though privately is most definitely the best way to do it.

How does that make the parents whose children aren’t in the top third of the class (who are, shock horror, in the BOTTOM third of the class – because someone has to be) feel? Not all kids are achieving two years ahead of where they should be, some are achieving a year or two behind. What acknowledgement do they get in their reports and on social media?

If those kids are achieving their own potential, they should be celebrating. Their teachers should acknowledge their progress and their hard work in the reports, as well as other important qualities like kindness, friendliness and helpfulness. And those parents should share their pride on Facebook, if that is what they want to do.

What do you think? Is Facebook and social media the right place to share our thoughts on school reports, is it a case of my space, my right to say what I like or should everyone have more consideration for others’ feelings?

I had genuinely not planned to blog about my kids’ school reports this time. There’s nothing I could say that I haven’t said before, but exchanges on Facebook made me look at them from a slightly different angle.

 

 

Author: Sarah Mummy

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50 Comments

  1. I think it’s a natural instinct for a parent to shout about their child achievements including a school report. I did see one mum doing the complete opposite about her son because he was really bright but didn’t want to apply himself so got a pretty bad report. I think most do it discreetly and there’ll always be some that tend to over share a bit too much. I don’t mind it being over social media but I guess it doesn’t make some feel too great if their child has had a really bad year.

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    • Thanks very much, that’s a pretty reasoned approach and is about where I stand really. Moaning about a bad report is a bit controversial and would only work if you were ‘friends’ with your son on FB and it could shame him into working harder!

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  2. It wouldn’t even occour to me to place such info on Facebook and I’d feel very uncomfortable placing school report details in the public domain. It’s not just for the fear of looking like a show off, but because it’s my daughter’s info; it’s not up to me to tell the world about it.

    In some respects I think it adds further pressure on kids. They’re pressured enough at school from a young age without mum and dad writing about it on Facebook. Call me old fashioned, but I think such things should be acknowledged quietly at home.

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    • I think that’s very sensible, but you do feel some pressure if other parents are sharing – you don’t want them thinking you don’t care about your kids as much, your kids haven’t done as well etc. When I write it down, it sounds silly, but that’s just how it is.

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  3. It’s an interesting thought!! I mean obviously everyone wants to boast about their kids doing well it’s natural. Right now I can’t truly add my opinion since Arthur isn’t in school but I have to say I tend to go on the side of a little more private on the old social media thing (which is funny since I share my life via my blog!!) I guess if people don’t want to read about it they don’t have to though so don’t see that there’s any harm in it!
    You’re totally right about people celebrating their kids reaching THEIR OWN full potential no matter what that is!!
    Sorry I’m rambling now haha!! #PoCoLo

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    • Don’t worry about rambling, you’re making perfect sense to me! I was wondering if people would pick me up on sharing on my blog, but feeling uncomfortable with FB, but my blog is less personal so I can share more personal information if that makes sense as the people reading it don’t generally know me. Also, they can choose to read or not to read, whereas on FB info is in your face whether you want it or not!

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  4. Hi!

    I don’t have a school age child, so maybe my opinion will change by the time I do but I feel very strongly that I would not talk about school reports/sports days/football results etc on Facebook.

    I suppose one reason is that doing fairly well at school (in as much as doing ones best) is something I would expect from Gwenn as a minimum so getting a good report wouldn’t be worth sharing on Facebook. I think that comes across as really harsh when written down so maybe I have articulated myself very well!!!

    I know somebody who EVERY week shares photos of one of his children who seems to be doing okay in football and EVERY week I think “I’m going to hide him from my feed” because I think one of these days I’m going to comment “AND?????!!!!” on one of his posts.

    I burst with pride when it comes to Gwenn every day but I share things like that with close friends and family. I post about her all the time on social media but it’s usually photos of her covered in yoghurt and salami.

    But, like I said, this could change. I always said I would announce my pregnancy on FB or share scan photos but I managed a week after my dating scan before caving as another woman I went to school with shared hers! I wanted me a bit of that “Like” action!

    x

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    • It’s definitely hard to know what you will do until you actually reach that stage. I would cringe if someone was sharing the same sort of stuff every single week. I do share quite a lot of my proud mummy moments, but my friends do too. I will also have a moan if they are winding me up, so I like to think it gives a balanced view!
      Thanks very much for taking the time to comment.

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  5. I think it’s a big no no. It’s one of those moments for closed doors. For knowing where the boundaries lie. Celebrating your kids’ achievements doesn’t need to be done on social networking. But with each other. If you cringe when you see others gloating about their kids then presumably some also would if you do the same. I worry that pride comes before a fall and I would jinx my child. Far better to remain modest and silently proud (in public)…

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    • Thanks very much. My head wants to agree with you, but it’s very hard not to cave into the pressure when other people are sharing. You feel like they’ll think you don’t love your kids as much/ your kids haven’t done as well unless you share.

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  6. Hmm I’m a little in the middle with this. Reading your post, I see your point of view and agree but then on the other hand I have never shared and I don’t think I ever will. I don’t particularly get annoyed at certain people doing it, I’m more frustrated that my feed becomes JUST reports because so many are doing it!

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    • Thanks very much. I like that you are strong enough not to share! The feeds do get somewhat frustrating when they’re full of school report stuff.

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  7. We don’t get the boys school reports until this afternoon, not sure if I will share the results, but we shall see!

    It’s a tough one, no doubt there will be parents and children disappointed with the school reports, as you say there will always be those are in the bottom tier. And some people maybe disheartened by seeing how their child did compared to their peers.

    But that doesn’t mean that parents or even the child themselves should be able to share their joy/pride at their achievements. We can be sensitive to others and not rub it in, but no way would I down play my pride in my children just to avoid ruffling feathers.

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    • I love that positive point of view. Yeah, why not? You’re proud so why not tell people you’re proud?
      (I hope the boys’ reports were what you’d hoped for!).

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  8. Hmmm this is something I am really torn on. My natural instinct is to boast about Harry’s achievements or complain if I think he has been treated unfairly (as you will know from my recent posts!). He is still at an age where it would seem much of it goes over his head although I am sure it doesn’t really. All I (and indeed any parent) want from our child, is to try his best, which was noted in his report and we were thrilled, therefore we were also saddened at what we deemed to be unfair assessment in terms of numbers. I am glad we got that sorted, not for his sake but our own peace of mind.

    How I will feel as he goes through school and gets older is another matter. I always hope to proud as long as he applies himself and does his best but I also want to be conscious of ensuring I don’t make other people feel uncomfortable since I know I have. Tricky!

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    • It is tricky! My natural instinct is to say that I’m proud. I’m not showing off, but I guess not everyone realises that. I’m proud because they work hard, although their academic achievements are a real bonus too.
      Glad you got your issues sorted too. x

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  9. I don’t remember saying anything on social media about my daughters’ school reports, although I did recently blog about my own less than brilliant reports a couple of weeks back. I am guilty of posting when Sophia has a win at rowing though!
    And to all the kids out there who have made improvements this year regardless of academic ability… well done, you are all stars!

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    • And so you should post when she does well at rowing! Thanks very much for commenting :)

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  10. As a teacher I hate the grade/level check culture that exists. I see kids so disappointed because they got a 6b when someone else got a 7c. I always try to get them to look at their own development and how well they’ve progressed without comparing themselves to some one else. They have done brilliantly for them! And if I have someone in my class who brightens my day just by being it I put that in the report too!

    On a different note, I once got a terrible school report (lack of effort etc), I blame being in Year 9 and a stroppy teenager! My parents cut it out and framed it, and hung it on the wall for 6 months, I was so embarrassed I did a lot better the next year!

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    • I think that is amazing and brave what your mum and dad did. Maybe I should try that one if ever mine slip up!
      Great to hear that you are always positive in your reports. I always encourage my kids to compare to themselves rather than others, which is kind of easy as they’re always ahead of others.

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  11. Difficult one to get right I guess. I am a parent to be so haven’t been in the situation you and others faced yet.

    As far as I am concerned there is nothing wrong with posting how proud you are of your offspring and an excellent report should be cause for celebration.

    I think the line is when you sound like your child is the only one to excel at anything EVER! Great post, have a fab weekend #PoCoLo

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    • Thanks, I like your positive attitude! I like to celebrate when my kids do something well – either academic or sporting, but will also moan when they do something bad/ wrong and also totally appreciate there are other talented kids out there.

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  12. I don’t, because like you say, Max won’t see it and Betsy will prob just tell me off for embarrassing her! Doesn’t bother me when other people do though. Well done to your lot for another excellent year xx

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  13. I’ve seen loads of my friends post a congratulation to their kids on their school reports, it doesn’t bother me in the slightest and I don’t see it as showing off. Why can’t you be proud of your children? If others have children that haven’t done so well then they shouldn’t be upset, every child is different and many don’t do well in school but do very well in life. there is no room for pettiness or jealousy. this is why I keep my Facebook friends list very short.

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    • Thanks very much, I like this attitude! I don’t see it as showing off either and certainly don’t consider myself to be showing. I’m lucky to have talented kids and when I say they’re talented, I’m stating a fact. But I’m still very proud of them and in awe of them!
      You make a good point of people who don’t do well in school, but do well in life – that sums my husband up nicely.

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  14. Personally I don’t go in for all that, and have taken a huge step back from Facebook latelt because of it. People all too often go on there to brag about their perfect looking lives, but scratch the surface and they are far from perfect… #PoCoLo

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    • That’s very true! The ‘I love my husband’ stuff on there makes me want to vomit!

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  15. Just got my little 2’s an hour ago… Not putting it on fb as all the family will want a phone call each first, ha :) Well done to your children, great work :)

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    • Thanks very much :) Definitely right to tell the family first!

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  16. It’s hard to know where to draw the line, but even though I am a social media addict I don’t think I could bring myself to do this. I’ve written about parents evenings before, but from the perspective of an apprehensive parent and the delight of being told your child is doing well. And I’m not sure I could write about the details of an actual school report, which just feels a bit too private to me. I definitely know how I’d feel if schools published class league tables to show exactly who was ‘better’ and who was not. Each to their own, I suppose, but this is one area where I’m wary of oversharing. It’s so easy to take a comment the wrong way.

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    • It certainly is! We all know how we intended our comments to sound when we made them, but people do misinterpret them. I don’t go into detail of every single achievement, I don’t think anyone I know does, but they pretty much all routinely say something on FB when they get the reports, which makes me feel like I need to too!

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  17. Interesting question. I think I’m guilty of posting that my son “exceeded expectations” in “describing the facial features of an owl” because it struck me as such a bizarre thing to turn up in a report card!

    Otherwise I would likely keep quiet about academic achievement (because, tbh, I expect them to do well academically and don’t want to seem like I’m crowing about it) but would be more vocal about sporting achievement (because given that they have 50% of my DNA, doing well in sport would be a big deal).

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    • Thanks very much, Shona. That was definitely a bizarre thing to waste valuable report space on and would have made me laugh – definitely one to share for the comedy value with no guilt whatsoever!
      I guess, like you, I expect my kids to do well academically – although Daddy wasn’t an academic child – I am more in awe of their all-round talents – that they’re academic AND good at sport and music etc.
      Have your kids tried out in goal in hockey yet? ;)

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  18. My son will most probably always be bottom of the class results-wise, as he is an SEN child. He’s currently around the level a child 2 years younger should be achieving. I do not get offended by other parents posting about their kids school reports. If anything, I think my son’s school report is excellent because he keeps on trying his best. Yes, he doesn’t get the great marks his sisters do, but that isn’t relevant. I have always made it clear to all my kids that it isn’t the marks I look out for, but the fact that they try their hardest. This was the case even before our son was born. They all get a small reward, normally a book or dvd of their choice, so long as we keep getting positive feedback that they are working hard at school. Believe it or not, they all normally choose to have a book rather than a dvd too.

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    • That’s a really positive thing to say. I think the effort and progression are really worth celebrating, whatever the attainment. I am proud of my kids because they continue to put 100% effort in.
      Impressed that your kids choose books as a reward! Mine would have done a year or two again, but seem to be reading less and watching more at the moment.

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  19. I hate FB. Can I just say that but I still operate it cuz I need it to connect to my family in Manila. It is still easy to update using it. But there are just so much … boasting there that is too overwhelming for an adult like me. It is nice to greet & be proud of your kids. I have high regards of people who posts of their accomplishments in a classy way not in a crass way.

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    • You’re right, there can be an awful lot of boasting on FB – I particularly dislike the ‘perfect little family’ posts – all the home cooked this and home grown that and I love my husband blah, blah, blah! I hope I post about my kids’ achievements in a classy way – it’s certainly what I strive for! Thanks very much for commenting.

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  20. I think it depends on your reasoning – I make it clear to my kids that it’s the ‘helpful’, ‘thoughtful’, ‘friendly’, ‘polite’ comments on their reports that mean the most to me – that they try hard, not that they achieve, if that makes sense. I don’t use Facebook, but my word of the week post was ‘proud’ – I would hope my focus on effort and behaviour came across, as it was genuinely pride not boastfulness, but lots to think about – thank you for sharing!
    Take care
    Lucas

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    • That sums it all up for me perfectly! Not everyone can be academic and achieve, but if they do try hard and they’re friendly, polite and all those other things, that is worth celebrating. I am often proud of my kids (as readers of my blog know only too well!) – it’s not boasting and I hope nobody ever interprets it as that, it is pride, pure and simple.
      Thank you.

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  21. I think it is totally personal choice whether you comment on Facebook regarding your children’s reports. I have many friends who are constantly on FB celebrating every little thing which annoys me but again their choice, my choice is not to read. As you know one of my children is ahead of the game, not naturally, but through shear hard work, the other is behind but has improved during the year which is all we can expect. Those are the attributes I shout from the roof tops not necessarily the results (even though they did coincide this year). You have absolutely nothing to worry about just because they were perfect, it’s your choice how you wish to acknowledge this and shows nothing more than you are a caring and very proud mummy. I know both my children immediately ask ‘what did you write on FB about us’ because they like the public attention I suppose (or I’m on here too much lol) so I do. If they had been below par I would have written how disappointed I was. I wouldn’t have blamed anyone or anything I would have just put in a plan of action for next year. But, as I have already said totally personal choice on what we write and read. Well done to both you and your children. Go enjoy the summer. See u next term. Jx

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    • Thank you, Jane, this makes so much sense to me. Your kids have done so well this year and it’s great that you are proud of them. Like you, I do find it irritating when people praise every single little thing, but like you say, that is their choice.
      I too have publicly shared disappointment in my kids in the past – usually behaviour at home – but wouldn’t blame either them or the school. See you next term (or a lot sooner!). x

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    • YES! That sums it up so simply. I think it’s hard for parents who don’t have school age kids to understand that you do feel a certain pressure to share. It’s easy to say ‘I would never do that’. Just wait until you’re in that position and see if you do it then.

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  22. I don’t mind others posting about their kids’ reports but there is no way I would. Even though I am proud of my son. It’s not fair on him and I need to respect his privacy.

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  23. Finally found your post!
    My 5 year old got a great report last week (well, for a 5 year old anyway) and I am extremely proud. I didn’t share it anywhere. She’s not brilliant, outstanding or anything else, but she’s perfect to me but I get irritated by all the “Well done little Tommy on the great report!” proud mummy comments. Just tell them to their face! Maybe I’ll be different when reports actually say something of depth though (and all her classmate’s mum’s are doing the same)! And I did send a photo to my sisters and parents as I had to share a bit of the pride with people who’d care!

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    • Thanks very much for this. I like your approach, and I also like that you acknowledge that you may feel the pressure in future. A lot of parents have said to me on Twitter that they would never share, but they are parents of pre-school and much younger children. When you are friends on FB with a lot of school mums, it is very easy to get drawn in, whether you want to or not.

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  24. I have to say I would never share my kids’ reports on social media, no matter how good they were. It hadn’t even crossed my mind to do so. But an interesting post, nonetheless. I guess it’s a sign of the times that you felt compelled to write about this topic!

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  25. I didn’t write about L’s parent consultation last term on Facebook as it was really quite bad – she wasn’t listening, was daydreaming, wasn’t checking her work, was under-performing considering what she is capable of. So we sat down and talked to her, and told her where she had to pull up her socks (she’s about to go into Year 3). I went to last week’s parent consultation with a sense of trepidation – to be told that she is like a different child, that everything seems to have clicked into place, and that she is now working at a year ahead of herself in maths (never her strong point) and 2 years ahead for reading and writing. And hell yeah I took to Facebook to share it! If people don’t like that there is an unfollow button – my Facebook, my life, the end. And yes there will be people whose kids underperform, but no doubt they have other strong points that they can shout about should they wish to (I often share what a lovely big sister L is). By the way I love hearing about how great your kids are, so don’t ever feel you have to reign that in x

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