For the past three days my students have read. They have sat wherever they wanted, immersed in the book of their choice. They have book shopped. They have reflected, but mostly just read. Whispered about their books. Handed those in they have finished. And waited for me to call their name, knowing that soon it would be their turn.
I have sat at a table and spoken to them all, one by one, taken the time it takes. “How is English going…How can I be a better teacher for you….What is not working…” Armed with the survey they have takes as we finished our very first quarter, they have told me their truths. They have looked at me and then gladly told me everything I have needed to change. And I am so grateful. Think of the guts that it takes to look at your teacher to tell them that something is not working for you. Think of what that says about the community we have.
So for the past 3 days, I have listened. I have nodded and taken notes. I have asked for further explanation, and I have also asked for help. How can we make it better? How can we find more time? How can we make it easier? More engaging? More of what they need? How can we…
We read books to become better teachers. We ask colleagues for help. We meet with administrators. We reach out to parents. We connect and we ask and we ponder together. Yet, how often do we ask the very kids that we teach? How often do we stop what we are doing simply to conference with them? Not about their work but to uncover how things are going? What they need? How we can change? How often do we stop so we can learn from them? Not often enough, but that can change. It starts with us. And it starts with a simple question; how can I make this better for you?
If you like what you read here, consider reading my book Passionate Learners – How to Engage and Empower Your Students. Also, if you are wondering where I will be in the coming year or would like to have me speak, please see this page.