Every year, teachers and counselors are faced with the task of writing evaluation letters for their students. This narrative assessment of a student's progress can be used in lieu of a letter grade, in conjunction with standard grading systems or as a mid-term or end-of-year report, depending on the school. It is a way to reflect the student’s progress in a manner that is both more thorough and more informative than the traditional grading methods.
Write an introduction in which you explain the reason for the evaluation and describe the work on which the assessment is based.
Begin on positive note by congratulating the student on any accomplishments or awards she has achieved during the term. This could include outstanding exam scores, coursework, published materials or presentations.
Make a clear statement of the student's progress thus far in the particular program. The student should be able to see what she has done as well as what she still has to do.
Provide information regarding any particular areas of concern or specific shortcomings. These should be followed by suggestions for remediation, including time lines for remediation completion and advice that addresses individual performance problems.
Remind the student that if she disagrees with any aspect of the evaluation, she should feel free to discuss it with an alternative party. Provide the information on who the student might contact and how, particularly if the evaluation is likely to cause some controversy.
Close the letter with a summary of any actions the student might want to take regarding her current work, your future expectations and a few words of encouragement, as well as a positive comment, if possible and appropriate.
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