Friday, July 3, 2009

The Year that Was

Summer is an excellent time to reflect on the past year and make improvements for next year. Our school completed our first student surveys for student to provide numeric and qualitative feedback. At the same time I was writing this post, I was reading similar posts and comments on Paul Bogush's blog (link). Here are the things that I am going to work on to be a better teacher:

  1. Give a brief assessment at the beginning of each unit to know how much students already know.
  2. Students that do exceptionally well on the pre-assessment should be given a challenging project so they are not bored.
  3. Relate the assessment at the end of a unit to the pre-assessment so students can reflect on how they have grown and learned.
  4. Make an effort to listen to your students during the year. Perceptions are important. Are you moving too fast or too slow? Are you are available for extra help as you think? Are you warm and welcoming outside of class? Do students believe that you are an export? Are there social aspects to the class that you are not seeing? Are the students engaged or bored?
  5. Use more technology and do more group projects. Have a range of activities for different levels of students. Have backup activities in case it is not providing the desired outcomes. Have extra activities to challenge students.
  6. Experience what students are experiencing. Take time to sit in on a class that you know little about so you can better empathize how some of your students may feel.
  7. Communicate the purpose of each unit and review what was learned at the end of the unit.
  8. Bring real world projects into the classroom.
  9. Get to know students better and understand stress in their life. Keep alert for sadness that might be disguised as a smile or a missed homework assignment.
  10. Make sure that you practice what you preach. If you are a math teacher, do math in your spare time. If you are an English teacher, then write in your spare time. If you are a science teacher, do experiments in your spare time. (link)
  11. Have students write a paragraph about the teacher that influenced them the most.
  12. Blog about teaching experiences.
  13. Have two projectors in class. One for me to show demonstrations and one for students to ask questions or collaborate with other students.

Photo used under Creative Commons license from Flickr (link)


keepingkidsfirst said...

I love that you've taken your time to really reflect on your year and set teaching goals while they are fresh in your mind. I hope you will continue to blog your successes, challenges and progress on these goals in the new school year.

Warrick said...

Good ideas all of them; I like the emphasis on listening and wonder too about actually asking students about their classroom experience, either personally or via a survey tool? Have you tried that approach.