Teaching Reflection: Week 18/19

  1. Personal time: I’m in a transitional moment right now, which is making reflecting a bit harder. But maybe that’s a part of the reflection process? I’m intentionally putting more time into developing myself, outside of my teacher role. Not thinking about how what I do outside of work can be brought into the classroom. Just thinking about the things I want to do and accomplish. The person who I want to be.

I think that sense of personhood can get lost in any job. In teaching it comes from the quantification of people (students, teachers, etc.) and their work (test scores, hours worked, certification classes, turnover, etc.). It’s something I have to confront at work, but not something I have to take home.

2. Negotiated syllabus: The one thing I am excited about at work is creating a negotiated syllabus for the second semester. For beginners/younger students, I think the advice of waiting after some course time has passed before introducing the idea is excellent. The kids have a better idea of what French is, and of the curricular expectations. They are also aware that there are restrictions on what we can negotiate on (i.e. grade weighting).

So for the second semester here’s my plan for creating a negotiated syllabus:

    1. Short survey asking about:
      what day of the week students want homework/quizzes
      – what topics students are interested in (based on the areas we have to cover)
    2. Having students create the syllabus for their class, based on a template and the responses from the survey.
    3. Grading based on this thread: https://twitter.com/davidbacker0/status/1215317859590602752

I’m thinking of having the students create portfolios that they put their work in, which I will review with them before interims and report cards. I have to do more work on creating a kind of rubric to understand the limits of the grading (they are middle school after all).


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