This is the time of year during which me and my colleagues work double shifts as we plan, teach, and grade as we simultaneously write narratives for our students. (Or is it a triple shift? Quadruple?!?)
Narratives change throughout a students’ time at SLA. Many of the 12th grade teachers have students write their own narratives in order for the seniors to take more ownership over their own learning, successes, and struggles.
As I thought more about this process I began to think of the value of modeling my own thinking and processes of reflection and evaluation for my students. With these thoughts in mind I had the idea of writing narratives for myself in order to share my own thoughts about my performance with my 10th and 12th grade students. I also realized that there is a benefit to having all of my students write a narrative for themselves that can be consulted as I write.
Below are my personal narratives that I shared with my students.
My Spring 2014 Narrative
(12th Grade Version)
My goals for this semester were to establish multiple structures for students to have real world experiences and take charge of their own learning. I feel happy about our project with the Welcoming Center and the work that I did beforehand to make this project possible. I am also excited about the different books that students can choose from for our Global Fiction unit. Finally, preparing lessons seems like it has a lot of interesting potential for different student groups.
I have struggled at times figuring out how and when to offer guidance and support and when to let students figure things out on their own. During the 4th quarter I want to provide clearer, more specific structure for the lessons at Greenfield and in our class. I also want to have more specific conversations with students about the books they are reading and encourage more people to add more specific comments to our discussion forums.
Finally, I plan to focus on helping groups submit very high quality projects for the Welcoming Center and would like everyone in this class to find meaningful ways to engage with content during their last semester at SLA.
My Spring 2014 Narrative
(10th Grade Version)
My goals for this semester are to allow students to explore content independently while we continue collective investigation of other topics as a class. Last month it was great to see the process evolve during the preparation for our play performance day. Many, many students stepped up, supported each other, and created quality performances. Our trial seemed to go well despite the scheduling challenges of spring fake. Additionally many students had very high quality digital stories during our Revolution unit.
During the third quarter I worked hard to make sure that class content was meaningful and engaging. I shared many resources with students and made sure that students had access to many different voices and perspectives. I have struggled at times figuring out how and when to offer guidance and support and when to let students figure things out on their own. I view 10th grade as a year when students begin to take more responsibility for their own learning but there are times when students clearly need extra guidance and structure.
During the last part of the year I would like to do a better job of conferencing with students about their work and giving on the spot feedback to assist students improve the quality of their work. I plan to continue to structure learning so that it is a combination of individual inquiry and group learning and discussion. I plan to continue to support students who let themselves fall behind but I would also like to be more real with them about the fact that success is their responsibility and not mine.