Before I can actually start going over what students wrote at the end of the semester (Classes took place from August to November), I thought of raising some questions in order to guide me through the endevour of finding out what to keep and what to change as I stated in Background facts post. Whatever the conclusions that come out of this reflective process, they will only serve as a way to start new endevours and that is fine and helpful for the next term, right? Hopefully in the near future, I will be asking the right questions, engaging and encoraging students to answer or as John Fanselow suggested Students asking questions themselves about their learning journey.
That was what I was really hoping for with these posts and because of that I started THIS post few days ago with the paragraph above and guess what happened…. nothing
Today I started wondering why it was so difficult for me to reflect on the students feedback at the end of the semester. Then, something hit me – the Observational Points that I learned in 2008 from our Global coordinator, a big follower of Madalena Freire educational practice and of her father also of course – Paulo Freire.
“To observe a teaching situation is to look at it, admire it, to been lightened by it. To observe a teaching situation is not to guard it, but yes, do vigil it, that is,being and staying awake for her complicity in the construction of the project, complicity in teaching.” Madalena Freire
So “Observational Points” as methodological instrument to investigate reality, that were followed by registering and reflecting introduced us to the practice of giving students a reflective role during the classes and that was expanded to all sectors of our school – from elementary to college levels. The approach was a bit complex for me at first, but I learned a lot during that period, especially about giving students questions that would make them think critically about the classes. Unfortunally our global coordinator left us in 2009 and we were left just with the ideas that soon died off.
And even though students are the real judges and through observational points could be given 3 specific questions to focus on:
- who was leading the group (in class in this case the teacher. It could be given the same question to one or two students for reflecting on two different point of views);
- on the whole group (the responsability to answer the question given by observing the group);
- and, on the learning aspect.
and the method is really effective, for me it is also very hard to keep up without the support. Besides, we get so busy and there are so much to do that I often find it difficult to give that spare time for students to come on board and fully participate in the process without sacrificing the time that they ought to be practicing the language.
Now that this came back to my mind and I tried to recall the experiences I’d had, even gave another look at the reflective material produced by our teaching team at the Language center back in 2009, and because the relevant questions are to understand reality, and therefore to take action, observation, registering & reflection is required on a daily basis.
Now the big question is:
Is it really worth making the effort to analyze the tasks chosen last semester and what effect they had on students productive skills considering that I will have different students next term? And if so, how it should/could be best done based on their already given feedbacks?
Thanks for coming & I look forward to reading your thoughts.
- Looking into other teachers approach of reflecting on Students’ feedback.
- My teaching context – The Background Facts
- 9th graders Feedback organized on tables.
Feel free to add your thoughts on my Student’s feedback. They will be highly appreciated.