I have almost a semester of full time teaching under my belt. I have learned a lot, made some mistakes, achieved some victories and have a clearer understanding of where I want my career to go (likely a leadership position). I am starting to plan for my next semester with one major goal in mind.
Many teachers often wish they had more time to talk with each of their students. Teachers are often in a position where they are expected to “teach” so much that they can’t have meaningful conversations with their students.
I have been able to cut down on a lot of “teaching” time with the use of stations. Next semester I am planning for these stations to be more skill based but the main idea will still be the same. Little to no talking from the front of the room; students will be responsible for their own learning while producing deliverable for me.
I had a lot of time to wander the classroom and help students because of this model, in the first semester. However I do not like how much of the time I spent micromanaging the students. I had a good conversations, scattered throughout my days but next semester I am planning on being purposeful with that time.
I plan on scheduling a 10 minute conversation with every one of my students every month, or maybe as often as every two weeks. I plan to ask the students what their most pressing problems are in my class, as they see it. I want to address what they see as issues.
Too often do we identify problems for students, and offer solutions. This doesn’t work. Students just listen and nod, they aren’t engaged because they don’t own the problem or the solutions. I plan to change that.
I want to know what they see as a problem and then as them to run through what they see as the causes, solutions and outcomes. As Susan Scott puts it in “Fierce Conversations”, I want them to interrogate reality. I want them to take ownership of the problems and solutions. That is not possible if I dictate the problems and solutions.
“Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.”