This is really always the toughest part of the process… looking at student data.
I gave this survey to my class that I feel like I have a really good rapport with as I felt like they know me from last year and I might see different things than I did last year from the classes that I just met. I think that I was really able to see some clear differences.
For starters the Care aspect was good and I think that was really because my students already know me better. It was a good as it was by the end of the year last year and so it reinforces to me that I am able to get to know my students and they have a good understanding of how it is that I show I care.
However, two areas I would like to work on are Clarify and Consolidate. Clarify was an area that I did ok with at the beginning of the year and showed growth in over the year. But for my grade 12’s there were some aspects that I can improve on and that is the clarification of ideas, especially having various ways to explain things. This will mean that I need to find some videos to go through to help me and the students. Possibly some diagrams for more difficult tasks and possibly some strategies to have them draw out the diagrams and work through with them. We have organic Chemistry coming up so this will be a great topic to trails some of these strategies.
Consolidation was something that I worked on with my Grade 10’s last year and I implemented various strategies into the classroom including a 5-minute summary write on the students OneNote, which I continued this year. I am not sure that will be the best so I will be looking for some ways to have them summarize or show understanding before they leave the class.
I also plan on discussing the results with them in terms of my areas that I wish to improve and gain some ideas from them on what they might like to do to help them consolidate their knowledge. Possibly a practice that can be a common practice in the class.
The start of the year is always a little nerve-racking. So many things going on, new student, new colleagues and new lessons. So having to start thinking about professional growth may seem a bit stressful at first but I think it is also the right time. It is already when your thinking about what you have done previously and what you might want to change up so it kind of fits. Thinking about professional growth and the survey got me thinking about the differences between my classes. My Science 10 class I feel is very interactive and engaging, the students are often up moving around and taking part in a variety of tasks. Yet my IB Chemistry classes feel less interactive, more lecture-based. I know that there is more focus on content in the IB classes but I wonder why I feel so different about them and how I can bring back some of the creative tasks I used to do and how I can build curiosity in the students. It makes it hard to learn and harder to teach when I don’t feel creative.
I also realize that it is easier for the students to know you after a full year than it is for the students in Science 10 since they only have just met me. Last year I was concerned about how they thought I didn’t care about them and I realized that part of it was that they had only just met me before the survey so this year I would really like to see what my Grade 12’s have to say since I will have had them for more than a year now. I think that will give me a better idea of some of the 7C’s and a different perspective on them as well.
This year thinking about my Grade 12 IB Classes I have decided to think about the following:
Confer: I want to seek more feedback about learning activities from the students. I feel like in the IB program we worry about making sure that the students are being prepared for the assessments they will have to complete and sometimes this means we don’t check in often about what they think of the work.
Captivate: I want to look at increasing the curiosity of the students as often we feel the need to get through the content and ensure they are prepared for assessments, but I often feel that if I make them curious they will be more interested in the topic rather than just a grade. I want to try some of the activities that I have done previously in teaching IB that are more creative.
Consolidate: I want to make sure that I am summarizing the classes and making sure that I give students time to think about the material before leaving for the day. I want to try and limit the content and increase the in-class questions that they complete for practice.
Challenge: I want to look at increasing questioning in the classroom and make sure that I have various levels of practice questions for students, maybe even explicitly state their levels. I think by making some more creative and fun tasks it will make students think more about the materials and question deeper.
Yep a lot to start thinking about! In some ways I think that they overlap and I know that what I think and what the students see may not be the same so I may have to refine these but I am happy with this as a start. Let see where it goes.