Reflecting on the survey data even further, under Care, I have decided to focus specifically on “My teacher seems to know if something is bothering me.” Recommended practices here include the following: “The teacher shows sincere interest in students’ lives” and “The teacher pays attention to students as individuals.”
My plan here is to regularly incorporate some activities into my classes that may not be directly related to our learning objectives that day but which are more aimed at finding out what students are up to and how they are doing on a personal level.
Under Clarify, I have decided to focus specifically on “My teacher knows when the class understands, and when we do not.” Recommended practices here include the following: “The teacher checks regularly for understanding using techniques such as questioning, quizzes, exit slips, and monitoring student work.”
Many of these things I am already doing, but I intend to incorporate more quizzes, exit slips, polls, and other quick, informal methods of formative assessment into my classes each week.
I have completed the first round of survey data collection and had a chance to examine my results.
The students in this particular class rated me “about average” in the majority of areas, while identifying the following areas as “strengths”:
My teacher wants us to share our thoughts. (Confer)
Students speak up and share their ideas about class work. (Confer)
This class keeps my attention – I do not get bored. (Captivate)
My teacher takes the time to summarize what we learn each day. (Consolidate)
My teacher makes us explain our answers – why we think what we think. (Challenge)
No areas were identified as particular areas of weakness, but overall I could do better in any of the 7Cs if I wanted to. This seems fair enough 🙂
All of the dimensions of Care, Clarify, and Class Management were rated as “about average.” The Class Management one in particular really surprises me. From my own perspective there is no issue with that; perhaps it is just differing cultural expectations, not sure.
In any case, looking through these has convinced me to maintain my initial area of focus – Care – and to switch my second area of focus from Confer to Clarify. I still need to focus in more on what exactly I would like to do to try to improve in each of these two areas, which I will save for a future blog post.
It was interesting reading through the 7Cs and accompanying questions for reflection, particularly at this point in the year. There are so many things that I could be doing better, but I have identified two that I would like to focus on:
As I am new to the school this year and have six classes along with a very large extracurricular activity, I am finding it a challenge to get to know all of my students on a personal level (Care).
I am also very interested in providing students with a maximum amount of voice and choice in their learning (Confer). I would love to focus on building in more opportunities for that throughout the Grade 9 English (and every) course that I teach.
I look forward to reading my students’ responses to the survey to see whether they agree or disagree with me that these are areas that they think I need to work on.