I am going to work on clarify as my goal this year. When I was looking at my survey results, I found what seemed to me to be somewhat of a contradiction, in that an area of growth was:
• When s/he is teaching us, my teacher thinks we understand even when we don’t.
but areas of strength were:
• My teacher knows when the class understands, and when we do not.
• If you don’t understand something, my teacher explains it another way.
• My teacher checks to make sure we understand what s/he is teaching us.
I have spent some time thinking about why this might have happened, and the best I can tell is that while I may be going around and looking over students shoulders to see if they are understanding a particular problem, they may not be aware of it, and therefore do not think I know how they personally are doing. When I address issues that I see as I walk around or return an assessment, it is usually in general terms, not individually.
With this in mind, I want my goal to be making time to check in with students individually on a regular basis. I see many opportunities to do this but making sure there is enough time will be the challenge.
Here is an initial list of ways I can see it being a natural fit:
• Instead of going over an exit ticket, have a quick word with individual students about something they did not understand.
• When I return quizzes and tests, make sure to check in with students and go over trouble spots I noticed with them individually or in small groups with others are making corrections.
• Find additional problems to give to students when I see an area where they need some extra practice.
• Engage in conversation more with students when I have them working in groups at the board.