Please Help Me To Be a Better Teacher and …… Learner!

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Two weeks before the 2016-2017 academic year ended, I sat and encouraged my 3rd graders to share about the year.  I’ve been with this class for three years by choice.  I know there are positives and negatives having the same class three years in a row.   However, this gave me the opportunity to see how the kids have grown emotionally, socially and academically.  I know I would miss them as well as the support from their parents.

 

As we sat and talked about the year, they started thinking back when they were in grade 1 and 2.

  • ‘Do you remember when you got so angry with A because he was playing around whilst we’re supposed to work?’
  • ‘Do you remember in grade 1 when we were getting ready for the student-led conference, we could not go outside cause we didn’t finish our portfolio?  It was like horror!’
  • ‘You sent me outside because I wasn’t listening.’
  • ‘Do you remember when we went on a trip to the Planetarium?’
  • ‘You told me that M has changed at the beginning of grade 2 and I think I do.’
  • ‘Do you remember when K got wet pants and we wanted to perform?’

We were all laughing remembering those moments. The moments which were sad, happy, fun, exciting, frustrating…everything came up and we just laughed and laughed. This class has been an amazing community, not only the kids but also their super coorporative parents. They feel comfortable with each other. They fight (of course) but they support each other.  They don’t feel threatened by others, yet they are willing to defend and stand for others when necessary.  They are quite aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses and can be very positive about it.

As we were talking about what we’ve been through, I gave them the idea of writing a report for the teachers who have taught them.  The PE, German, Music, ESL and Art teachers….and of course including me as their class teacher.

The teachers have always shared what they thought about you and your learning journey.  I think it’s time for you to write a report card for us.

Why?’ asked one of the girls.

Why not?‘ I replied.  ‘What do you usually do with your report? Did you sit and talk about it with your parents?

Most of them said yes.  One said that her parents told her what she should do to be better.

Well..it’s time for you to let us, teachers, know how we can get better. Be better at teaching and be a better learner….just like you.’

It took them a while to write the report cards for six teachers.  They were using the international mindedness template which they have for their own reports to assess how we display the learner profile attributes and attitudes.  They were using the same criteria which they have on their reports as well.  They were also asked to write narrative comments.

Their excitement could be seen on their faces as they started turning on the laptops.  How cool it is that you can write a report for your teachers. 🙂

 

But the excitement didn’t last long until……

I am stuck. I don’t know what to write for Mr. D!’ said a boy.

What do you think Mr. D should continue doing as he’s done well?  What do you think Mr. D could do more next time?  What do you like about his lesson?  What does he do to make you understand about something?‘  I tried to help him writing the comment.

He is a good teacher,’ said the boy.

Does it explain why he is a good teacher?  What makes him a good teacher?  What does a good teacher mean to you? Show not tell, remember?!’

As they were working on the reports, I was observing and listening to their chats quietly.

They started looking at the learner profile attributes and attitudes display.  They asked each other how to spell words (in German and English).  They were using the skills and knowledge which they’ve learned.

Ticking the box may be easy but writing a comment is difficult,’ said a girl.

Well…..what do you think the teachers feel as they write report cards for all the kids in this school?

After at least 5 periods in two days, they completed the report cards.  I printed them and as a class, they went to see each teacher and explained why they did this.

We wrote a report for you so that you can be better next time,’ said P as she gave the report card to the German teacher.

One teacher said, ‘I can’t believe M gave me a 3 for being caring.

Other teacher laughed as he read the comments written by the kids.

 

Well…..just like students, we teachers are helped by the kids to grow and be better educators.  We all help each other to grow and be better learners.

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Enjoy your summer break!

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