16 April 2013

Do I know you?

Upon reading the last paragraph of Managing the Tools, Managing oneself where different attitudes towards producing work are mentioned, I am wondering how to truly know your students in a secondary school.
In traditional secondaries, students going at a frantic pace from one class to the next to the next five day a week, from teacher to teacher, from one group to another, at the sound of a bell. I have at times shadowed students for a day and the experience left me tired and rather blurred...(This is a related but another topic!)
What one teacher gets to know, at best, is who this individual child is in their classroom, what are their competence and aptitudes for the Learning Area you are responsible for.
Typically we would know about a student who has special needs or who has been particularly "naughty" but for the majority what do we actually know? 
How is the student doing in another learning area? What aptitudes does s/he develop there? How aware of this is s/he? How can s/he draw on this to support work in another area? Is his/her "rushing to get things done" the same in another class? Does s/he apply the same minutiea elsewhere?
What is available to a specialist teacher to know their students better? Are data, school vision, policies, chosen goals used? How do we know if they actually supports this essential action? What exists in terms of collaboration between learning areas to incite them to really know their students? Does it work?


  1. Yes, good question. There's something to be said for the French practice of the 'conseil de classe' where a student is discussed by all the teachers and a class rep or two.
    We were talking about this in one of my classes today, actually, as I probed to find out a little more about them a la Te Kotahitanga. I find that the powerpoints about their lives that the juniors have made are a wonderful way to get a better handle on their background, attitudes, strengths etc. We're having fun sharing them but strangely enough most of them were only happy to do this if I promised to turn the sound of their commentary off. They're not all quite comfortable yet about hearing themselves speaking French. Bring on the interact training. That's our next challenge for the beginning of term 2 for all levels. Actually it's exactly what we're doing with Year 7 & 9 already as they seem to be happy to prattle away about those very basic first things. They also get a bit more inhibited with age, I notice, unless it's just that they're not used to speaking much in class. The teaching throughout the school seems pretty conservative as far as I can observe.
    Time to turn in!!
    Bonne nuit

  2. What your juniors have done in their ppt is their entry to building an eportfolio, excellent! Many primary schools have their students use these slides just like that. There is plenty of reasons to believe that by giving them plenty of opportunities to speak in your class under your encouragements they will be happier to hear themselves. Interaction develops as learning gets "deprivatised", all your approach leads to genly coach them there.


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