I just finished carrying 46 boxes (and I counted), an assortment of bags, 30-40 posters and other such colorful things that hang well on cinder block walls, a bookcase, a book rack and and a classroom mailbox from the garage to the basement. So it goes with the end of the year classroom cleanup. As I walked up and down the basement stairs carrying these things, I had some good thinking time. I thought about how I’d rather be watching the Penguins game (they won 7-3, btw). I thought about the fact that I’ll have to carry all these same things back up the stairs to the garage to my wife’s car come August.
And, as I carried boxes labeled “Hunger Games Books” and “Science Supplies” down the stairs it made me think how about how many awesome things my wife’s sixth graders experienced this year. At least a dozen virtual field trips and other connections, a really cool trip to Villanova University on a beautiful Saturday in the fall, Family Science Night, paperslide videos and the list goes on and on and on.
Educators tend to use the end of the year to poll or survey their students to figure out how they can improve next year. My wife has already started thinking about what she wants to do this summer to prepare for next school year. Personally, I think teachers deserve at least five minutes of personal reflection to celebrate all the great things they and their students accomplished this school year.
So, I put together a Report Card for Teachers to convince/encourage/coerce/force you to take some time to reflect upon and celebrate all the amazing work you did this year. My report card is not punitive. It can definitely be informative. It is intended to be celebratory.
Here’s how it works.
Think about the learning experiences you designed for your students. What did your students create? How did you provide opportunities for them to communicate? What about collaboration? And the trickiest, most-buzzword-worthy, in what ways did you give your students the opportunity to curate?
For each of these four areas, give yourself a plus, check or minus. If you give yourself any minuses, use that as an opportunity to make some changes for next year. But, for the checks and pluses, give yourself a pat on the back and celebrate your success.
Also, I’d love to hear about the data that support your self-assessment. Post some comments and share ways you encouraged your students to create, communicate, collaborate and curate this past year.