This is my contribution for this week’s 30 goals challenge, set by Shell Terrell.
Goal 6: Invite them in
The first challenge of the week was to invite colleagues and those around us in to see what we do in our classrooms. I always have the door open at school, or the blinds open on the meeting room windows at company classes. I’ve always enjoyed having other teachers come into the room, and peeking into my colleagues’ rooms when their doors are open too.
But what I’ve not been doing is sharing my students’ work outside the room – it’s always been for myself and them only. So for the last couple of weeks I’ve been trying to encourage students to (allow me to) share what they’ve been doing. The result is a new blog with work from as many of my students as possible. This has been positive for them, allowing them to see that there is a wider audience for their work, and for myself too, allowing me to get feedback from both teachers and students on what we’ve been doing.
The view from my balcony - another inspiration
This is a response to Shelly Terrell’s 30 goals challenge. Goal Number One was ‘Be a Beam‘:
Offer a student or other educator you see struggling support. It could be a colleague who is stressed or a student struggling with another subject. Who in your life needs your support?
On Wednesday night after evening classes at our school, I was in the staffroom getting ready to go home. One of my colleagues came in and told us about her elementary-level class. She’s struggling with it, as one student is very strong and talks all the time, while the other three students in the class are much weaker (below the level of the coursebook) have real trouble understanding, and find it difficult to speak. She asked for some help, and through the many ‘beams’ in my own PLN, I was able to pass on some tips:
- record the students in class (with permission), email it home and ask them to give feedback
- encourage the students to record themselves at home – this may make them more confident and willing / able to participate more in discussion at home
- differentiate tasks, so that the stronger student is asked to record more than the weaker ones
- take a look at the eltchat discussion on TTT and STT for some ideas about how to improve the quality and quantity of student talking time.
Being able to help my colleague with something I would have struggled a lot with myself only a couple of months ago really is testament to the quality of my PLN. Thank you!