Results from my student survey below (questions from the Gates MET project here). Answers were anonymous, on a scale of 1-5. The second question is phrased so that a high score is bad, so I flipped the score to 6 – x, to be consistent with the other questions. Definitely take this with a grain of salt, especially with the two kids who gave me all 1s.
- I ask student to explain their thinking
- I know when they do and don’t understand
- I have them correct their mistakes
- I don’t summarize well at the end of class
- Kids don’t do what I’d like them do be doing
- I want to focus on this last one. There are two general approaches:
1. It’s the kids fault if they’re screwing around and not learning. If they don’t want to learn, they pay the consequences, and that’s their choice.
2. I can teach better. I can be more engaging. I can manage the class more effectively.
I want to aim for somewhere in the middle. Reality is, I’m not going to be a baller teacher this year. I’ve taught some baller lessons, but also some bogus ones. I can’t fix that–I don’t have the intuition or the experience to plan and execute a baller lesson every day. If I put the onus on myself, I implicitly send the message that screwing around in my class is ok because I’m not a baller teacher. But I want to commit myself to improving my teaching every day at the same time.
The message I want to send to students is: your education is important. Every day you’re engaged, asking questions, and working hard, you’re learning. If you’re screwing around, you’re not only cheating yourself, you’re cheating your classmates as well.
The message I want to send to myself is: every time my kids misbehave, it’s in part because they’re bored or confused, or because I could do a better job setting norms of engagement and focus in my class.
Just some thoughts. I’m not sure what this will look like in class tomorrow–the specific words and phrases and actions I take. But I want to keep this in the back of my mind going forward.