Exit Slips

At the end of each week during the class meeting I have my students fill out exit slips which are a quick way to reflect on what we've learned during the week. I've made it through three months of teaching and thought it's only fair I put myself through the same process.

3 Things I've Learned
1. Rewards and praise work infinitely better than punishments
2. You must follow through on every threat or promise. You are only as good as your word and if you say the kids will miss gym to practice walking in the halls or that a kid will miss the Christmas party, you better mean it. Sometimes this means sacrificing time from lunch or prep, but it is worth it.
3. Every kid loves to learn, but most of them don't want to know when they're learning.

2 Things I Still Don't Understand
1. How can I get my kids to not just understand, but actually buy into the idea of respect for one another? My classroom is still not a ''risk-free environment'' for learning and I haven't yet figured out how to shape it into one where students are eager to share and listen.
2. I still don't understand how a school can function with so many competing interests. In an environment where kids need so much extra help, it doesn't make sense to me that how to close the achievement gap when students, teachers, administrators and parents all seem to be working independently with different goals and motives.

1 Thing I Can Do Better At
1. I can do better at holding myself to a standard of "No Excuses". It is one of the foundations of the Teaching Fellows program and I realized today in conversation with someone when I said, "I have a really low-performing class..." I have been making excuses constantly without realizing it, and instead of putting the onus on myself I'm holding my students responsible. I tell them often that there are no excuses whether its a missing homework assignment or talking out of turn. I need to hold myself to that same standard.


IMC Guy said…
It's great to see what you've learned. The part for me was to keep doing the things I know - if that makes sense.

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