Thursday, March 24, 2016

Two questions I haven't heard in my classroom this year.

I may have fooled my students into thinking I was a better teacher this year...

Short story:

1. Is this for a grade?
2. Why are we doing this?

Two questions I haven't heard in my classroom this year.


Not-so-short story:

Do you ever just stand in your classroom in awe that your students have done as you instructed?  Sometimes I think to myself: "They have free-will and have still chosen to follow my instructions."  It's kind of amazing.  My goal isn't to have a classroom full of quiet compliance, but the sound of my students individually problem-solving is music to my ears.  When I first started at my school four years ago, it was a struggle to get students involved in the lesson and trying.  I actually did an in-flip classroom and had students on individualized learning tracks.  It was easy to make it through a walk-through.  When my principal came to observe, she was just happy my students were engaged and doing math.  Sometimes I have to remind myself just how far my students have already come.

I'd like to think it's because all my lessons are that engaging.  (I wish.) I'm sure it's at least partly because I mix technology and student choice and take preferences to learning styles into account when lesson planning.  (Probably a big part of this).

I have a feeling it's mostly because I make a promise to my students at the beginning of the year to not give them work just for the sake of work.  Busy work is not my thing.  When we begin units, and lessons, and activities, I explain the why along with the what, so they aren't left wondering.

That relationship, that rapport, the trust.  That's what makes my classroom a better classroom this year, but this is not the first year I have noticed it.  This is the first year I have given myself the credit for building that kind of classroom.

Is there a place in the teacher evaluation process that celebrates and encourages that?  There needs to be more of that.

What is something you rocked this school year?  Give yourself credit for your hard work and dedication.


  1. This is an awesome accomplishment, especially with math! I love your sentence about being in awe that they exercise free will to DO what you ask them to do. We should be in awe of that!

    1. Thanks! I encourage you to ask your staff what they feel they have "rocked" this year as well. I have already decided to ask my students (and I'm ok with non-math answers, but I'll have them give those as well)