My life is all about finding balance. From being a middle daughter to being an educator with equal loves of ed tech and the Spanish language, my goal is to find the sweet spot in everything I do. Welcome to my blog!
What do you intentionally do to make sure you don't let too much time pass without having a caring conversation with all your students? As soon as I read the prompt for the #reflectiveteacher at +TeachThought January Blog Challenge, all I could think of was The 59th Street Bridge Song. If you know it, please take a moment to hum it to yourself because it ties in nicely for what I am going to share today.
Slow down, you move too fast. You got to make the morning last. Just kicking down the cobble stones. Looking for fun and feelin' groovy.
Many of the approaches that we use in the classroom encourage and facilitate opportunities for students and teachers to have caring conversations about performance, behavior, study skills and goals. This "slowing down" or intentional pause in learning lets both teacher and student reflect, discuss and plan for more learning. I probably love the use of tiered activities/learning stations the most in my language classroom because I am able to off the students a variety of activities which let them work on culture as well as their language skills. Many of the activities that I create include showing work to a teacher or sharing what you learned with me, and that is where I am able to have a moment with the students to talk about all of the great things he/she is doing and ask them to talk to me about their learning as well. A flipped or a modified flipped classroom also always works well and lends itself for teacher to act as facilitator and move about the classroom with the ability to have impromptu conversations with students.
BUT, if you don't find that your teaching provides you with moments to sit down and talk with students about what they are doing in the class and how they can be better, then you have to either throw out the old method adopt a new approach that will offer you those opportunities or you need to create them yourself! Being able to talk with students, give them feedback orally is so much more effective than writing a note on a paper. I actually don't think students even read what teachers write on papers, do you? Now, we need to do is convince schools to give us smaller class sizes so that we can do more with a smaller group of students!