Context the First: #MTBoS30 challenges you to write a blog about your teaching every day for 30 days. I’ve already missed one day (and have less than 30 days left of teaching). Sorry I’m not sorry?
Context the Second: Instead of final exams, our school spends 2 weeks writing portfolio essays. Students reflect on what they’ve learned and present about a class of their choosing.
Whenever I doubt myself on my institutional memory of portfolios, I should remember that Tuesday is, in fact, the day to organize their portfolio binders, even if it feels early. I should also remember to check their binders and leave feedback.
One group melts down while preparing for presentations (which, statistically, is probably accurate. The rest of the groups mostly work, which is a nice reminder that students have a sense of how to work together, especially if I’m not meddling). I try to listen to all sides, speak what I know (and acknowledge that I don’t know many things), recognize the things they are doing well (content, taking initiative on their own time to finish things, which has led to the conflict) and the areas that they, um, aren’t (working together). Later, one of the students comments on another group member, “Oh, he’s 14. That’s why.”
We haven’t really given the kiddos enough time to finish their presentations, but I see flashes of groups pushing themselves and of one group trying to help each other memorize, which I am somewhat excited for tomorrow.
I make another teacher (2 teachers actually, then another) stay after school to reflect on school processes. I see another set of teachers talking and it’s nice to know we’re not alone and that we’re thinking together.
Picture: Presentation slide, post editing.