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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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