Something I’ve been doing since my first year of teaching is creating an end of the year list of things that didn’t work, could be improved or I know I definitely want to revamp for next year.
If you wait too long after the year ends, you’re likely to forget all of the ideas swirling in your head of the procedures you thought were a good idea in August but ended up making your life miserable in December.
So here’s my unedited list so far. The only thing I changed for you was to add links to relevant previous posts in case you have no idea what I’m talking about and would like to find out.
To be honest, I’m a little ashamed that I had to put some of these items on the list. You’d think that by the end of my fourth year of teaching, I’d have it a little more together. Alas.
1. Don’t grade bell work or non-assessments. HEADACHE. (See new grading policy).
2. Include Essential Questions in Table of Contents – have some means of answering them – in a fishbowl, beginning and end of unit? Writing?
3. Have a Pass Papers OUT procedure – put a student in charge so I can be free to direct and teach
4. Have a Pass IN procedure that is competitive but productive (Right now I have a pass-in competition between all of my classes that is so competitive that it has ceased being productive.)
5. Try HW on desks again instead of passing it in to tray by the door? Avoid traffic jams by the door? Have “I didn’t do my homework” slips for them to fill out?
6. Have a Verbal Warning system that is communicated to parents and students and can be reported
7. Have behavior charts? Signed by parents and students? Plan for improvement?
8. Practice No Opt Out and Right is Right a lot more. #TeachLikeAChampion2.0
9. Update Retake Policy
10. New Late work policy
11. New Missing work policy
12. Update Table of Contents for Grammar and Vocabulary goals too.
13. Have a binder check / missing handouts system.
14. Have more clearly defined group work procedures. Have prepared mixed ability level groups, similar ability level groups, etc.
15. Have different students practice leading fishbowl discussions
16. More organization for Writing Folders. What can kids do with them? Write improvement reflections? Discuss work they are proud of? Self-assessment?
17. Have rewards for classroom jobs that are non-academic
18. Have juniors tutor sophomores on writing? Teach them how to teach – No Opt Out, Right is Right, Praise Correct Praise, etc.?
Anyone else have a list of suggestions?