A, B, C, D, or Failing?

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Wow, the first quarter of school zoomed by like a hornet…nope not like a sweet butterfly, but a hornet – FAST and FURIOUS.  Being at a new school definitely has its challenges as I adapt to a new set of rules, routines, and procedures.  As a veteran teacher of almost 15 years, I still feel like a “brand new teacher.”  However, these feelings can also be beneficial as it facilitates a desire for CHANGE in me as an educator.

At this time of the year, teachers are inputting, posting, and sharing grades with students and parents at conferences.  Regardless, the goal is the same:  to convey the strengths and weaknesses of the student in academics and personal development.  Some school systems have standards-based report cards, behavior-based report cards, and letter-grade report cards.  Regardless the evaluation tool, the teachers hold parent conferences to convey these “grades” to the students and parents.  I believe most teachers are also involving the students more in the process by conducting student-led conferences or administering student-reflection grades.

BUT what about the grade of the teacher?  As educators, we know that self-reflection as a teacher is important.  So, do teachers get “grades” every quarter?  I am not talking about the evaluation process by the administrator at the beginning and end of the year.  I mean what about grades from OUR STUDENTS?  Our students are with us a majority of the day – not the parents or administrators.  So, the desire for CHANGE in me as an educator facilitated my need to give my students a report card to fill out on ME this quarter.

Ummmm…wow! The results were astounding. For example, I had no idea how MUCH my students, including my high students, dislike reading journals, because the monotony of the assignment. So, I need to spice it up! Another example is how much my students LOVE “Pampering Day,” because they get to hang out with their teacher at Chili’s after school. There were so many other golden nuggets of information, but most of all, the students made me feel good about what I am doing in the classroom. I realize I need affirmation just like them!

So, how can you make a teacher report card? Here are some easy steps!

1. Ask yourself what you what to be graded on as a teacher? What have you been dying to know? Make a list.

2. Decide what platform to use. Do you want a paper report card, or do you want to save trees and integrate technology? I used Google Forms, because my students have and utilize their Google accounts!

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3. Explain the purpose of this report card to your students. Let them know it’s anonymous, and there will be no judgement. Model for them how to fill it out.

4. Collect and analyze the results. The great thing about Google Forms are that the results are organized and accessible through an Excel document.

5. Be open to CHANGE based on the results.

So, it looks like this quarter I made the Honor Roll. Now, if I can just keep it up!

2 thoughts on “A, B, C, D, or Failing?

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