All posts tagged: High School

Under The Radar

We can’t win ’em all, right? Wrong. We are making some huge mistakes that are costing our students dearly. I now have seen more than a handful of students who have failed a majority of their classes and skated by under the radar of every accountability tracker we have. Don’t get me wrong, there are things we are doing that are great. We have as system of tracking students. But that’s about where that stops. In the academy I am teamed with this year, we have been discussing the same students for two quarters of the school year. Nothing has changed. The tracking portion is just the beginning. We need a more robust method of connecting with and intervening when these students are at risk, for whatever reason. What is more, one of my students has flown so low under the radar, he hasn’t passed a class in two years. Yes, I wrote that correctly. Two years. That is an abysmal hole that this student now has to climb in order to graduate on time. The worst part …

100th Blog

It’s funny. You never truly realize how hard it is to be objective until you are grading papers and tests. I started to pay attention to my own thoughts and feelings as I was grading a quiz today. Not only is it surprising, it’s a bit demoralizing. Just for background information, it’s a multiple page test. I graded this test not by person but by page. So after checking the front page of the test, I no longer had a name to go with the paper. I realized very quickly that I was paying attention to handwriting styles. Preconceived notions of student behavior then slowly crept in and made it difficult to make an objective decision on the papers. I even had to grab one and bring it back to mark something incorrect that I naturally waived as okay because of my perception that this student is a great student. It makes me think, if I am doing this and catching it in paper, what am I doing when I am giving students direct feedback? …

Lessons Learned

We have officially been on a block schedule for a month now. It is absolutely exhausting and rewarding at the same time. This is my first year back in my own classroom after a small hiatus co-teaching social studies. Every day is an experiment where I learn new things here and there and try to keep track of them for future references. This post is just me thinking out loud, figuratively, about what my next steps should be. First, I spent way too much time trying to decide how to grade my ELL students in the pull out class. I think I have finally figured it out. The official grade will be based on whether they met the standards I was looking for or not. For example, if the goal was to use certain vocabulary in their writing of a narrative, grade on that alone. However, when I was listening to their speaking journals that I have them record twice a week, I was stuck in that I didn’t want a student’s inability to properly …