What Students Want Us to Know
I commented on Mike Prater’s blog post regarding feedback he received about the needs of his students while he was teaching. According to his experience, more emphasis during the feedback process was directed toward the parents and the school system and not directly to the customers of the education, which are the students. The students were able to provide the most direct and honest feedback but some teachers were not that interested in the results.
Mr. Prater was not surprised by the results of his student’s feedback towards him as a teacher. If you know about self-refection you’re comfortable with your strengths and weaknesses and the feedback results should be not a total surprise to you. The following are some of the common responses that he received in his evaluations. First, students want more individualized attention. They do not learn at the same level and want to be taught at their level not everyone else’s. Secondly, standardized testing did not meet their demands because students felt that their emphasis was on underlining the quality of the school and teachers instead of the students themselves. Furthermore, the students wanted to create a link regarding the knowledge they are learning in school and the relevance in a practical environment. They are also enthusiastic about the technologies they can use as tools to accomplish tasks and results required. Regarding this matter teachers need to be open to new technologies and tools since there is a constant change, which requires adaptation from both students and teachers.
I agreed with Mr. Prater on receiving feedback from students because all students learn at different levels. Students learn valuable information from teachers so teachers should learn from their students. Teachers should lead by example and continue learning something new every day even if it’s from some one younger than you.
Group Students for Effective Learning
Mr. Prater describes in this blog the importance of addressing the students on an individual level rather than using a collectivist philosophy. It has been proven that an individual approach is much more effective and produces higher quality of outcome. Teacher collaborate in professional learning communities (PLC) to evaluate solutions for the following questions:
1. Which are the goals we want students to reach?
2. How can you verify the achievement of these goals?
3. How are we going to monitor progress?
4. What are the consequences if the outcomes differ from desired level?
It is essential to establish PLC groups in your school and share information regarding methods and results with other schools. Mr. Prater suggests developing a rubric and having examples that are clear to the teachers and students on the desired outcome of a certain tasks. When students are placed in flexible learning groups it is important to have regular interventions between the students and the teacher to re-evaluate the progress and the outcome of the tasks.
This was a very informative blog with a good approach how to address common challenges in the school environment. The outlined tools make sense and the verification methods to check results are proven to be successful. I’m excited to implement and adapt these tools as a resource of continuous improvement in my own environment.