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In this article, we answer some key questions about the value of Teacher Record Books for both the teachers and the schools.

Teacher Record Book

What is a Teacher Record Book?

A Teacher Record Book, sometimes referred to as a Teacher Diary is used by teachers to keep an accurate and up-to-date record of a range of key information about each of their learners; from attendance to test scores.

What are Teacher Record Books used for?

Teacher Record Books are used to keep track of all the key activities and information throughout the year consolidated in a single place. This typically includes records of:

  • Attendance
  • Homework
  • Assessment results
  • Parent-teacher meetings
  • Money collection

The Teacher Record Book is also used as a planning, recording and reflection tool for teachers to track:

  • The lessons delivered
  • The homework assigned
  • Professional reflections on the content or methodology
  • Key assessment dates for different learners
  • Important dates during the school year
  • Supervision, substitution and school activities.
Teacher Record Book
Teacher Record Book

What to look for in a Teacher Record Book?

Teachers and schools have different preferences when it comes to using a Teacher Record Book. From our experience of working with teachers and developing these record books, the following are some of the key preferences for teachers:

  1. Pre-cut attendance pages
    The attendance pages on a Teacher Record Book typically need to be cut so that teachers can see the names of the students. In some Teacher Record Books, these pages are not pre-cut. This means that the first thing a teacher has to do when they get the record book is to cut the pages along the indicated lines (Fig. 2). This is a time consuming task for teachers that could be avoided and that is why most teachers prefer to get a pre-cut record book (Fig. 3) like the 4Schools Teacher Record Book illustrated above/ here.
  2. Record book contained in a Lever Arch Folder
    Many teachers like to have the record book contained in a Lever Arch Folder. It allows them to add or remove class groupings depending on the number of classes they teach. It also allows them to add additional content during the year (Fig. 4).
  3. Hardback books
    Some teachers prefer the compact nature of the hardback Teacher Record Book as it is durable, hard-wearing and fits neatly into a briefcase (Fig. 5).
  4. Additional supporting content
    The additional content in the Teacher Record Books is also of interest to the teachers. For example, good quality Teacher Record Books have a range of content that supports teachers in their professional duties ranging from information on Safeguarding to Differentiation, Digital Literacy and GDPR in Schools (Fig. 6).

Overall, teachers are looking for a versatile companion that will allow them to record their professional interactions with the young people in their care.

How can schools use Teacher Record Books to support teachers in other areas?

While Teacher Record Books have a primary purpose of recording student learning, attendance and behaviour, schools can use it as a tool to facilitate teachers in other areas as well. We have worked with schools to identify areas where Teacher Record Books could add value for the teacher and the school. Two examples are shown below:

  1. Supporting teachers by adopting the language and principles of the new Junior Cycle
    Schools are now using record books to support teachers adapt to the ever-changing needs of schools. For example, the 4Schools Teacher Record Books have been used to embed the language and principles of the New Junior Cycle through the inclusion of Glossary of Terms used by professionals when collaborating on Junior Cycle. So, all the elements of the Junior Cycle are clearly explained in the record book, which can act as a quick reference for teachers that are coming to terms with the new assessment model.
  2. Communicating shared values and ethos of school trusts
    In recent years 4Schools has developed Teacher Record Books designed to support the ethos of particular school trusts. In Ireland, the schools previously owned by the religious orders have now been in-large handed over to school trusts. They run these schools in accordance with the shared values and ethos of their founders. The 4Schools Teacher Record Books have been used to communicate these shared values and ethos to the teachers in these schools. It helps the schools to communicate their identity and also to share with teachers the larger network of schools that share their common purpose.
Teacher Record Book
Teacher Record Book

What are the key changes in Teacher Record Books over the last few years?

There are a few notable changes in the way the record books are developed and used by the teachers. These include:

  1. Full-colour and visually appealing
    Teacher Record Books are now printed in full colour and are visually appealing. Sometimes they are also colour coded to make it easier for teachers to move from one area to another.
  2. Less school-specific content in the books
    Up until 2014-15, a lot of schools created customised Teacher Record Books containing a lot of school-specific content around school policies, etc. Most schools have now shifted their approach to sharing this type of information in a soft copy and opting for a more generic full colour, high specification Teacher Record Book.
  3. Changing attitude on how record books are stored
    Teachers are now increasingly conscious that their record books may contain personal information about their students. There is also a GDPR compliance regulation with regards to the use of personal data, which they are aware of. As a result, the teachers have been fully focused on the need to keep the Teacher Record Book on their person or under lock at all times.

If you have any further questions, you can contact our team directly. Alternatively, you can view the range of Teacher Record Books available from 4Schools on our website and order them online.

Teacher Record Book