It's report writing time at school. I know - you're waiting for another rant about the uselessness of this exercise, arncha!
HA! Instead I give you my version of the pirate code so that you have FIVE ways to survive the process:
1 Be yourself
A colleague, Awesome Greg, proofread a set of my comments and wrote on one, "You're playing with fire here, Wozza" (actually the great man doesn't call me Wozza, I used poetic license - that's how I roll).
Be yourself? "Der", you say, using that dumb as voice, "Who else am I going to be Wise-N-Stein?" Bear with me. Too often we are not ourselves on report comments - we write euphemistically (a.k.a. weasel words) about students. I heard one staff member say recently that she really wrote some tough comments for some students. Yeah, right, (I thought to myself in my brain).
Obviously the message needs to be tempered a tad, but, please, first guideline - to thine own self be true (that's pompous me being Polonious from, you know, Hamlet).
2 Challenge the proofreader
I always throw in a couple of curly grammar constructions and wait to see if my comment gets bounced. It keeps me on my toes!
3 Parents ain't dumb
So don't patronise them. Always imagine you are the parent who is going to read your comment. I hate being patronised!
4 Pedagogy Smedagogy
By the same token, parents are not (usually) teachers so make your comments as much of a jargon free zone as poss.
Keep your sense of humour - in all regards. You'll need it AND you'll write better comments!