when was the last time…..

This week was somewhat of a challenge that I gave myself. As a new senior humanities teacher I gave my students their first major assessment essay. Not that this was a challenge, but I was nervous about how to assess it and trying to do the right things by the students. So I decided to write the essay with the students.

I did my preparation the same as the students and sat down at the same time. What an enlightening experience.

Firstly, I struggled collating my thoughts into a coherent message and when finished and reading it through, found myself saying “there’s no evidence in that”.

Secondly, I found that I put myself under a lot of pressure to try my best.

Thirdly, I totally loved the experience. all of the knowledge and ideas swimming around in my head – it was really good (and I know that sounds weird) to gather it all together.

One outcome from the experience, if I who had not done this for 20+ years felt the pressure for no reason other than do to my best, I can understand how students feel about the pressure they are under. Also sometimes students have 2 or 3 of these in a day.

Teachers usually say, you can cope with it, but I wonder if they could?

Also I know I have to convince my students that completing essays should be a natural extension of their learning process. Show me your understanding by jumping on and writing about the topic and enjoying it. Find the joy in telling me the story. That’s my next challenge.

So all in all, I just wonder how teachers would go if we had to do what we expect our students to do.

By the way, my mentor/guru/savior graded me a C+ and I understand why.

One thought on “when was the last time…..

  1. Toff, you have done it again – inspired me. You keep thinking along different lines and that is so good. I am going to send you the website for a brilliant 5 minute clip on learning that’s being pioneered by an inspirational teacher of mine at Bristol Uni. Will send it to Soph. too.

    Thanks buddy. Great idea and learning xoerience for you to write the essay; kids spot those teachers who are genuine, so will love the fact that you dd this.

    Cheers mate. Brian

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