At the end of each year, I take some time to reflect on what my most memorable teaching moments might have been, and invite readers to share their own. I hope you’ll leave your thoughts in the comments section of this post.
You can see last year’s post at My Ten Most Memorable Teaching Moments — 2009 (What Were Yours?).
I’ve written about most of my most memorable moments this year, so I’ll share a short description of each and then share a link to the related post or article.
Here are My Most Memorable Teaching Moments In 2010 (not in any order of preference):
A student wanted to sleep instead of read one morning — how do you turn it into a teachable moment and an opportunity to strengthen student and teacher relationships? Read about what happened at Teacher Eyes on the Wrong Prize?
A student demonstrated an incredible act of empathy — an essential quality that can’t be assessed in any standardized test. Read about it at “Mr. Ferlazzo, I Need My Post-It, Too.”
The Gates Foundation is spending millions to videotape teachers and have others who are far away assess them with checklists. Our school has a radically different way of videotaping teachers to help them improve their craft. I took it a step further and had our school’s consultant come and share the videotape, and our critique of it, to my class. It was an incredible experience for all of us, and you’ll be able to read about it when Teacher Magazine publishes my account in about ten days. For now, though, you can get a taste of it at There Are Some Right Ways & Some Wrong Ways To Videotape Teachers — And This Is A Wrong Way.
Sometimes, a little “tough love,” carefully given, is necessary. I wrote about in “I Haven’t Been Feeling Very Respected….”
Some positive feedback can go a long way, as I share in “How Do You Think Your Mother Felt When I Called To Say You Were Doing Well In Class?”
A student’s personal history obviously can affect how he/she handles life in the classroom. That can sometimes explain the reasons for certain behavior, as I learned and wrote about in Students’ Personal Space.
Writing personal letters to students can have a powerful impact. I share some examples at My Post-Thanksgiving Letters To Students.
I’m not a real big fan of typical rubrics, but learning about — and using — an “improvement rubric” at the end of the last school year was a great experience. I write about it at My Revised Final Exams (And An Important Lesson).
Helping students develop their capacity for metacognition is one of my priorities in the classroom. Here are two lessons — one in a mainstream English class and the other in Intermediate English — that I thought were particularly successful in accomplishing just that.
I’ll look forward to hearing about your most memorable classroom moments…
I teach 6th grade science and reading strategies in a “college preparatory” community (I put that in quotes to let you know that the community thinks very highly of itself). I’ve been often scared to branch out and try something new at the risk of my strategies being unwelcome. This year I threw caution to the wind and having been so far from my colleagues I often think I’m either on an island, or out on a limb. One thing I have learned: It’s worth it!
Some of the lessons I’ve been trying I’ve been documenting and listing here:
What I’m so appreciative of is all the amazing educators on twitter creating such a successful PLN. Thank you all and thank you Larry for being such an awesome sounding board and support!