The Sort-of-Scientific Method

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Mar 06 2013

What My Students Think Of Me

You know it’s almost MCAS time when the ANet benchmark tests come in droves. We had the English test today, and the Math test tomorrow. These tests are important because they let us know where kids are before the MCAS. These tests are also frustrating because they disrupt our schedules. When you teach your most challenging class immediately after they have been testing for nearly three hours, you’re bound to have loads of fun.

However, that was far from the most salient part of my day. That came at the end of the day, when I interviewed four of my kids, something I had to do for the award I’ve been nominated for. It was, in short, the single cutest thing of all time.

My kids said I was a great teacher who explained everything well. My kids said they wished I could go to seventh grade with them. My kids said they’d never been successful in science before my class. My kids said my class was fun, and that I had a big, “Kool-Aid” smile.

Along the way, my kids rattled off the Big Goal, explained why it was important to learn about the human body, and explained why they loved demonstrating leadership and persistence. They told the story about the time I stuffed my face with marshmallows and tried to sing. They made it sound like they were learning a ton, and enjoying every minute of it.

In short, if I’d scripted the interview, I wouldn’t have gotten as good material as I got from just letting them talk.

Teaching, at least as I pursue it, leads to a lot of putting the trees before the forest. Did my students master the objective? Did they turn in their homework? What the hell am I teaching tomorrow? Occasionally, however, I get insight into the fact that it’s been a pretty good year, and we’re accomplishing some pretty great stuff. Nice way to end my day.

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Experimental Procedures of a Second-Year Teacher

Greater Boston
Middle School

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