Reflecting on 2012-2013

I’ve been reflective all year, but I’m especially so with only 43 days left I am starting to decide what changes I want to make the most for next year.

I found this survey that had a lot of questions about my classroom.  These questions have only solidified that I want to change a lot for next year, aside from my curriculum.

Check out my answers below and think about your own answers.

1. What are five adjectives that describe my classroom culture?

I think the adjectives that best currently describe my classroom are: jam-packed (there’s never a down moment in my room!), innovative (from time to time, compared to other teachers in my school), and consistent (while I’m always trying to add new things/presentational styles, I aim for a consistent daily schedule).

2. How do my students feel about school?

Generally speaking, my lower level students dislike school and my older ones enjoy it.

3. How do my students feel about each other? How well do they work together?

Each class has its groups of students that prefer to work together.  Students work well with others outside the group, for the most part, when I force them to work with people who are not their friends.

I have offered students a choice on assignments before: (1) work with someone you did not previously work with – usually a friend; (2) work alone.  Particular classes tend to work alone while other classes find new friends.

I love 6th hour so much because it’s only 3 students and they all work along great together. It doesn’t hurt that they love all my corky assignments too.

4. Do we “gel?” Do we feel like a cohesive group?

I think all my classes have a “group feeling.”  However, some groups tend to have a wholistic idea while others simply belong.

5. Is my class a safe place to take academic risks?

Most students would consider my class an academic risk because I have high expectations but I am unsure if I allow them a lot of opportunities to take academic risks.

6. Are questions, creativity, originality, and new ideas welcome?

Yes, they’re welcome.  Students tend to be more willing to offer new ideas or suggestions on the Reflection I ask them to do.

7. What values are important in my classroom – respect? tolerance? trustworthiness? self-control? kindness?

The things I value most in my classroom tend to be more academic in nature compared to last year:

–      Promptness

–      Responsibility

I would like to return to my previous values:

–      Kindness

–      Compassion

–      Tolerance

8. What motivates my students to do their work or behave appropriately?

For a majority of students it’s the grade.

Most older students and a handful of younger ones have said they want to learn Spanish so they can have conversations and nobody would know what they’re talking about.

Most are motivated when it’s an interesting assignment (usually something authentic I’ve created).

Other times I offer rewards for good behavior, either personal or group.

9. How are discipline issues handled in my classroom? What is the result of this strategy?

This is something I need to work on.  I would like a more consistent pattern. I would like this to be my pattern:

1st – Verbal Warning

2nd – Verbal Warning and moved to spare desk in corner.  Not allowed to talk to other students.

3rd A – Minor but obnoxious – sent to wait in hallway, given detention for class time missed.

3rd B – Severe: sent to office, detention for class time missed, and phone call home.

10. Other than academics, what are three things I hope my students learn from being in my class?

The three things I would want my students to learn are to appreciate people who are different from the “norm,” to be responsible and take ownership for their own work/actions, and to throw a curve ball into everything for fun.

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