I am going to respond in note for to each section where I feel that I have room to grow, or an idea that struck me as I was reading.
How much interest in the personal lives of students should I have? Surely, I care about them having a fulfilling life and helping them through obstacles that impede their learning, but at some point, we draw a line. I have found this line is largely based on school culture. For example, at ISB I feel there is a more formal relationship between students, teachers, and parents. My previous school was a lot different and I had a multiple parents that treated the teacher and school much closer than typical, American relationships between teacher and parent.
I like the idea of a ‘Dear Teacher’ letter.
In my notes I wrote “Sometime shy about these questions’ but I cannot recall which questions these are nor the nature. I also have that sometimes students are not interested in sharing and while I want everyone to have the opportunity to share their ideas and thoughts, I am also cognizant of the fact that some people do not like to speak in large groups. I include myself in this category. At meetings, conferences, and workshops, I am listening, and making connections but if the group is larger than five or so I am not interested in sharing. I think there are students that fall into this category as well and it is a matter of differentiation that we should require students to do something they do not wish or feel comfortable doing at all times.
Whenever I am teaching a new subject I struggle with the first year in being able to give clear, structured instructions. Part of this is lack of confidence but it is also related to wanting the students to have the best and I have found through experience that it is better to discover along with the students than it is to give them poor or disjointed information.
There is still the student concept that assessment is paramount. I have yet to work in a school where students understand the opportunity to learn is more important than the final assessment. For the record, I agree with the former and have remedied this schism by making my assessment rigorous.
My teaching is lacking in video. I think this is a problem because video is becoming a strong and important form of instruction and truthfully, I do not like video. I do not dislike it, but I will always choose to read instructions over watching a video. I have also found that available, instructional videos are often superficial and do ot give me the information I need.
I need to review more, since I deal more with concepts than information, I should be asking students to consider the concepts, or parts of the concepts in more detail every class. As my instructional approach is cyclical with ever increasing complexity I should also refer to past units and concepts in current units and concepts.
What is KWL?
I think I am good at encouraging students to do their best work at all times. The deficiency in my encouragement is that I most often take the defensive side of the argument instead of the offensive. Meaning I am explaining why they should be doing their best and pointing out areas where the students can improve their work.
I use thinking routines all the time, even in Diploma.
Particularly with Publication Design, I need to model activities better.