Photo Credit: Sky Druffel
As I spend the first official day of Spring Break planning for the rest of the year, I reflect on the survey my students kindly filled out about our classroom and my teaching. I noticed a lot of trends and commonalities, but also many differences.
Many wrote they love when I use humor and suggested I use it more. My goal is to plan at least one humor related item a day. Some of my ideas include jokes, stories, silly movements, and role-playing.
Students also wrote they needed more practice with math concepts. I plan on using a workshop model this spring to provide more practice time and small group instruction.
Using the single point rubric to provide feedback instead of giving a grade on formative assessments was a huge success with students this winter. Students wrote they want to keep doing this and feel it helps them succeed.
Finally, I noticed many individual differences which reminded me of the unique needs of each student. A strategy that works for one may not work for another. I am reminded of the importance of differentiation to meet as many needs of each student as possible.
In my process of reflection, I asked my daughter today to tell me her favorite part of school (she is a first grader). Library was her response. I asked her to tell me why. She talked about books, the teacher read alouds and bringing rocks to her librarian. Rocks? Her librarian has a different theme each year, this year’s theme is rocks. She allows them to being in rocks they have found. I asked if she is funny. My daughter responded no, but said she is nice.
Nice. My daughter’s last statement brought me back to the most important word in education, relationships. If a child can see that you truly care (there is no faking it) amazing things can and will happen. We have the privilege to work with children everyday. Our relationship with each one of them makes the most impact. Notice them, listen to them, celebrate with them, love them.