IN THE HANDS OF THE STUDENTS
NB// I must remember that the survey is not a reflection of the teacher but rather of the data.
20th October – here are my thoughts…….
Last academic year of 2017/18, I took it upon myself to really step out of my comfort zone and conduct a student survey on my performance as a teacher. This survey was carried out anonymously because I wanted students to feel that they could be honest without feeling pressured to respond in a certain way. I knew that it was a risk and that it may ultimately reveal aspects of my teaching that were weak and needed work.
Who would want to highlight their flaws?
I would always preach to my students take risks, fail, advocate for one’s self, learn skills to conflict resolve, understand and make sense of your experiences and do it better the next time around.
Once again, I find myself drawn to student-centred survey approach in collecting teacher appraisals. I wanted to challenge myself and be ‘uncomfortable’ once again. Even though it may highlight potential ‘unfavourable’ result, my desire to refine my craft as a teacher has always been at the forefront of my professional development goals. My ‘7 Tripod’ sample cohort was surveyed on my largest class of 7th Graders. I wanted to carry out this survey on a large class size because the sample would be a mixture of new and returning students. However according to the 7C Tripod, the data sample does not matter, nor does the class or grade level. This I found VERY interesting.
Before meeting with Dr. Hill, I knew already that I wanted to focus on Clarification and Care. Last year, I had more ESL students which impact the way I instructed and facilitated PE. This year, there was a notable increase in the number of students who came into class with SOC tailored behavioural plans and coupled with higher percentages of ESL students, the same focus, attention, and care within my PE class would need to change. The shift was to focus on better serving ALL my students. The idea was overwhelming. But we are in a climate where we as professionals need to look at best practices/pedagogy backed by research so that we can support our students in this digital age where student stress is on the rise (due to multitude of factors e.g. over stimulation, demands of school and increasing need to be ) and the awareness of learning ‘domains’ i.e we do not all fix in one box.
By the end of this PD process, I want to inspire my students to not just love movement but to be contributing members of our community, to be empathetic to others and to be confident in their social interactions with one another. What other subject could harness this better than PE? My focus will be to build relationships with students and show concern and develop their emotional wellbeing. I will focus on a handful of students.
Here are some articles I have been reading to build on my goal.
DOMAINS OF INTELLEGENCE
I WONDER IF WE NEED TO TAILOR THE WAY WE SHOW CARE AND HOW WE APPROACH IT WITH EACH STUDENT WITH SPECIFIC SOC’S PLANS?
This infographic shows that being good at math or languages are not the only two ways to be smart.
Perhaps I can make clear to kids and ask kids how they want to me to show care.
CREATING A CULTURE OF CARE AND RELATIONSHIPS.
- Children need to form caring attachments to adults. These caring relationships will foster both the desire to learn and the desire to be a good person
- Values are best transmitted through these warm, caring relationships. In schools, as in families, kids care about our values because they know we care about them. If children do not experience an adult as someone who respects and cares about them, they are not likely to be open to anything the adult wishes to teach them about values.
Fostering safe and caring relationships with students creates an environment that allows students to take more risks and excel not only in academics but in other crucial areas such as social, emotional and intellectual wellbeing and development.
RESULTS ROUND 2
When looking at PD through this lens, I feel inspired and I would like to grow and serve my students to the best of my ability. After all, I was once an ESL student at the age of 6 who had to learn how to read, write and speak English AND Bahasa Indonesia while my brother struggled with dyslexia with very little technological support in his day. I understand the struggle that is real for many students.
My result displayed a slight increase in care, while my overall Tripod score remained the same 302 points. I have no low results in my second set of survey results which I feel is a small accomplishment.
I have taken time to ask students about their life outside of school and always make it a point to converse with students who are introverted in nature. It was interesting to see the surprise on their face when I asked how they did on their piano exam, ASA’s or vacation. In return, it was lovely to see students open up and approach me confidently during class to ask questions on the learning or simply to answer questions about my interests and life outside of school. Similarly, I made it a point to highlight/share with the class students achievements and/or wrote cards for those who have demonstrated growth/progress in their Student as a Learner. I placed less focus on those that are Mastery in movement and appraised more so on the positive social and emotional attributes that are valued at ISB. This was positively received and appreciated by my students. In turn this simple but deserving appraisal really impacted their confidence and growth mindset.
Much of this relationship building is intangible but rich in terms of the experience gathered. So it is hard to gather all the evidence to showcase the relationships that were built this year.
While many relationships have been established and values of care, empathy, inclusivity and integrity have been fostered and instilled, there have been relationships that have not progressed at nearly the successful rate.
CASE STUDY 1
Boyan was a student who was new this year and transferred from the US. At the start of the year, his transition to his new environment presented many behavioural challenges. With advice from the counsellors and ILP plans established. Boyan has made exceptional progress. Part of it was the network of support in which we all pooled together to assist Boyan, and the other part was understanding Boyan’s learning preferences as well as understanding his emotional cues and behavioural triggers.
He has been a pleasure to have in PE and is such a different child compared to last year. He is confident and with any conflicting issues, he will seek assistance and verbally explain the situation. He is also quick to apologise when making poor choices and endeavours to show me he takes it seriously by growing from the experience. His student comment (next page **), indicates his self-awareness. This growth has been a huge advancement in his social and emotional learning. Students in his PE class have also benefited in terms of becoming more empathetic and supportive peers. He is an exceptional athlete and works hard to make an impact in game play. His efforts and social interactions are appreciated by all.
Boyan Du will be in your class this school year (or trimester). Boyan had some challenges transitioning into ISB mid year in Grade 5 and continues to work on developing positive peer relationships and learning the expectations of the classroom. Boyan requires support for understanding directions and new concepts in the classroom, as well as, for the social pieces of his day.
You will be receiving Boyan’s Individualized Learning Plan in the coming weeks. If you need assistance with Boyan at any time, please contact me via email or stop by my classroom (3416). If there is a situation in your classroom that requires immediate assistance, please contact me and Luke by email and/or Wechat so we are able to support you quickly. Maureen (Grade 6 counselor) will also be working with Boyan and is available to assist. Thank you and have a wonderful weekend!
Tony-I’m checking to see if Chinese will replace EAL.
Grade 6 Learning Support
International School of Beijing
Boyans ILP – history
Boyan lived in Australia for almost 5 years before coming to ISB. Most of his education has been in
English and his home language is Mandarin. Boyan has had some challenges transitioning into the
new environment and continues to work on developing positive peer relationships and learning the
expectations of the classroom. Boyan requires support for understanding directions and new concepts
in the classroom, as well as, for the social pieces of his day.
-Wants to socially interact with peers and adults
Hi Julie and Maureen,
I wanted to give you an update on Boyan and his progress in PE. He has been participating positively, he is enthusiastic and has had meaningful conversations with his peers. Boyan will now come to me when mediation is needed on his behalf which has significantly prevented escalated behavioural incidences. He can still sometimes become distracted by his peers and every so often become frustrated (especially during game play), however, this quickly dissipates. This is in part due to his peers also being more patient and understanding with him. He responds exceptionally well when given leadership tasks and positive reinforcement is something that he values. Things are looking positive for Boyan lately it seems.
Please let me know how he is doing in his other classes and there is any other way I can continue to support him.
Middle School Physical Education and Health
Boyan’s Student Comment
|“I find it challenging when I work with some people in my PE class because sometimes they do not listen to my input. when this happens I find it really frustrating.to overcome this I should work with someone that is my friend. An area that I would like to improve next year is to work on my response when I feel upset. In our bouldering unit I was proud of climbing all the way to the top to ring the bell. I was determined and did not give up. I am happy that I climbed and learned how to put on the harness while being safe. In kayaking unit I was proud of taking a new risk. I learned how to use the paddles to steer the kayak. I think I would like to use these skills with my family and holiday. I really want to improved my running. I think I run very slow. I don’t enjoy running but I will make sure that I find time to run often every week.”|
CASE STUDY 2
A student that I feel to have made little progress with David. He is an interesting character because he is very smart, has good motor competence and at times displays a food sense of humour. The challenge is that I feel to have made little development with fostering empathy and trust within David. It appears he has drawn up a personal wall of defence in the form of negative comments, being argumentative and showing lack of emotional empathy. I wonder if he uses this negative mindset to feel like he is ‘winning’ in his own way and to avoid potential disappointment in his achievements. I wonder why there minimal progress has been with all the support that he is receiving? Or perhaps the strict discipline that takes place at home continues to contribute towards his negative mindset. There have been 1 or 2 progresses throughout the year, and it all hinges on his enjoyment of the sport. Badminton was one that he highly enjoyed and continued to play actively with his peers. While he participated, he was unable to demonstrate sportsmanship etiquette and used his strong game sense to dominate and negatively bring others down.
Overall, many email exchanges have been made between specialist, core teachers and counsellors to better support David. It has been a very challenging year for me as a teacher and I am sure for David as well. I hope to see him continue his journey of growth in the following year.
– very negative in his time capsule writing (not excited about the school year, could not come up with goals for himself)
-teachers noticing him arguing from the first day
-counsellor and previous teacher reported that he does not show a lot of empathy, conservative family and harsh discipline,
-can become very angry, likely because of some of his background,
-can be argumentative,
-did not have a good experience at his previous school in the United States
-repeated Grade 5 -but academics is not a concern.
-Important when emailing home regarding a behaviour issue to let parents know that the school has taken care of the consequence.
-build a connection with him
-counsellor will teach calming/coping skills (friendship group)
-can be sent to office or counsellor if he is unable to calm himself
-parent meeting with homeroom teacher to open up the home communication
Follow up date:
-In 6 weeks.
My experience coupled with best practices and survey second feedback
Care is something that you foster, that is part of the values instilled in our community. It takes time to build as you to get to know your students personally (their passion, fears, personality, family life and learning preferences). It is intangible but once established, the learning taking place in class is so much more enriching not just for the students but it is a continual lesson and invaluable learning curve from a teachers perspective. It allows one to ask ‘why’ and ‘how’ can we better understand our students and support them in a nurturing and safe environment rather than making premature assumptions.
My area of growth for next year is to better understand the dynamics and use strategy to build relationships positively with students who are identified with Learning Behaviours. I will seek continual advice from the counsellors and also look into further PD in this field.