Starting a Journey

This summer I spent a good amount of time reflecting on my teaching practices and the results that I have seen and I was not happy. I asked myself the following questions and tried to make sense of it all.

  1. Do students seem to enjoy my class? Yes. The evidence gathered are the relationships formed with students, the “Thank you’s” and ” I want to take AP Chemistry so I can have your class another year even if I don’t like Chemistry.” (Those who have been teaching for a while, you know that student.)
  2. Am I seeing improvement in student performance? Yes, since implementing county Common Final Exams I have noted that my students’ performance is on par with many from around the district.
  3. Do I feel that as a teacher I am trying new things to benefit the struggling students in my class? And I noticed that over the past few years, the answer has been, “No.”

This is what bothered me. I found myself slipping into a mindset that sound cynical and detached while stating that I was trying “so hard” to help every student succeed at Chemistry. My evidence, I reviewed the scores of my struggling students that worked hard until the end. Now some may ask, “Was it a high number of students of something?” The answer to that is no but, over the years I have noticed that changing some of my habits may have provided a better chance for these students to reach higher level of performance. I wanted to share some of these habits as a way to remind myself to keep working to improve and encourage anyone else who may be like this. Read More