Having lost my student teacher, I am back to full time teaching. It was so great to have the kids back. I missed them so much. I missed teasing them, talking with them, and watching them grow and learn. It was so hard to remove myself and become a “bystander” to their learning while helping Randon grow as a teacher and learner. To transfer my focus from 30 to 1 was a challenging task. I am still wondering how well it all went. I think it was hard on all of us, but over the long term, will be something we are all better for.
Interestingly, after Randon was done student teaching, I talked to the kids about taking away the No D policy and multiple redos. They were adamantly against it. In fact, many of the kids were not comfortable with going back to a traditional approach to learning. I wonder what will happen with them next year. How are they going to succeed next year in classes where there are enforced deadlines and no redos? Have I set them up for failure? Or can I look at this in a positive light wondering that if they now know how to succeed and learn best, will they apply those skills into other classes? Will they advocate for themselves in their future classes letting their teachers know how they learn best? So we are continuing on with these policies in place and the kids still in charge of their grade and learning.
I also wonder for myself what I am going to do next year. Will I try this again? Will I take away the D and have multiple redos? How will the kids respond? Will they be as engaged and interested? Will they want to be participants? Can I do this again?
The rest of this semester the kids have been working on coming back to me. It has been a welcome transition I think for them, but they are readjusting after struggling at times with classroom management policies that were in place with Randon and now switching back to the way I run the classroom. I am planning on taking their pictures and doing some wordle.net work them this week for my final presentation. I am asking them to give me one word that describes the change in them, in the class, and the change in learning. I want to take these words and their images creating some works of art to display at my presentation creating more of a gallery approach rather than a traditional poster board. Hopefully my art metaphor will carry over into all things. My vision is of frames of them as art work with charts, data, and words as art work as well. We will see if I can get it all to come together without it being tacky or overwhelming.
The mode for the next few weeks is working on my presentation, cleaning up my website (adding images and quotes), and doing lots of reading.