Yesterday, we had ProSat. Which was annoying because we just had ProSat two weeks ago, but with both Mississippi and Arkansas Spring Breaks coming up (yes, I am counting down the days and it is five) they had to be scheduled very close together.
Anyway, at our Diversity and Inclusiveness session, my MTLD asked us to write down on an index card what we would want our students to say if someone asked them what they got out of our class that year. I found this a very easy task. I immediately wrote down:
“I understand what my goals are and what I need to do in order to achieve them.”
After thinking another minute, I added:
“I have great critical thinking skills which I can use to solve problems in all parts of my life.”
Now, don’t get me wrong, just because it was easy for me to say what I HOPE my students are getting that doesn’t mean that I think that is what would absolutely come out of their mouths. I have no idea what they would say. But based on all the work I have done with them this year it is 100% clear to me that this is what I want for them.
And then, shortly after I wrote down the second part, I knew what I wanted my students next year to be able to say (in addition to the first two statements):
“We learned how to support each other, learn from each other, work as a team, and make mistakes together. This is an important skill to have in our personal relationships, in our workplaces, and in our communities.”
Of course, I wish my students this year could say this as well, but it is not fair for me to expect that of them, because I have not taught that to them. So, I have begun a list of things I will implement starting day 1 in my classroom next year. Because I see too much name-calling and putting each other down, when I know that what my students need is to be built up. I must teach them that we all benefit from the success of one and we all learn important lessons from each others’ failures. Next year, I want a more caring classroom environment. I’m tired of the bickering and the fights and the name-calling and the laughing when someone can’t read a word. But, of course, they are teenagers, I need to remind myself again, and this is what they know, so I must teach them better. And hopefully next year I will have three things to write down on my index card.