I had my second observation this week and it was less than stellar. My supervisor observed my college prep students who can be a challenge. I have a few sleepy heads, a few check out (since the beginning of the term), though the majority engaged and seemed interested in learning. Despite my best efforts to keep the earbuds out of ears and wake up the sleepy heads, these students were noticed. It was a painful day for me, but I did receive encouragement from Ms. A and my husband (flowers were provided by him at the end of the day).
I have a few simple things to fix to receive a better review next time which I will start to practice this week.
One area for improvement is holding students accountable for homework and for work in class. The college prep students rarely read the assigned homework pages and I am finding that my honors students will skip this step too. I held a pop quiz for one of my honor classes this week and received the expected grades. The high achievers did very well; some have even finished Brave New World and were ready to discuss. The students who have checked out did poorly. I reminded these students that I may hold pop quizzes in the future as we being Term 4 and to be prepared.
Term 3 is coming to a close and students are scrambling to finish the assigned work. Many are struggling with the assigned expository writing assignment that they started in term 2. These seniors were assigned a three-page essay on the Elizabethan era drawing from multiple topics (torture, witchcraft, sports, diet, hairstyles, and clothing). They needed three in-text citations using MLA format and three sources. This was quite painful for many to finish. Even the college-bound students struggled.
On a lighter note, I am learning that my generation and this “mobile connected” generation (my term and you are welcome to use it) have a completely different way of speaking. I was handing back some graded assignments and one of my students told me that I could just throw it away. She received a 90 on the assignment but did not have the room to carry the project home (it was on poster paper). I said ok will “86 this poster for you” and she promptly replied- “wait, Ms. Smith, I thought you gave me a 90!” I explained to her that when someone “86” something, that means to get rid of it. Dave and I looked up the meeting of that phrase with some friends during a dinner gathering and this is what we learned: