What’s been happening this term? – Student Survey.

I’ve been so very slack with my blogging so now that I’m back into it, I have an awful lot to share from the past few weeks. So I thought I’d write a series of posts about all the exciting things that have happened this year.

Today: A Survey of Year 6.

At the very beginning of term the Year 6 teachers and I decided that we would survey the entire year group to:

  • Give us some baseline data to compare the end of the year with.
  • Give us an idea of where the students were at, in terms of their thoughts on learning and skills within the classroom.
  • Reflect on the results and use this to inform our teaching.

It was super beneficial to do this as we got a really clear idea of the work we have cut out for us. We have a long way to go this year but we’re up to the challenge! It also gave us a really clear reminder of how much easier our jobs will be once My-learning or even formative assessment practices are embedded further down the school. These are exciting times.

The students’ responses indicated the following:

  • Students do not have a clear idea of where they are at with their learning and what their goals are.
  • Students over rate themselves in terms of the skills they have.
  • Students will set goals but don’t know how to set specific goals.
  • Students reflect infrequently but do know what reflection is.
  • Students have a vague idea of what successful learners do.
  • Students don’t know what it means  to personalise learning.

Since this survey we have worked hard to discuss what skills students need to be successful learners and to teach these skills. We have also worked hard to set goals with the children that are relevant, targeted and specific. So we’re getting there!

Next post: Unpacking meaningful learning.

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Reality kicks in: Work-life balance.

To sound like an A.A member, “hello, I am Emma and I haven’t blogged in weeks and weeks.”

Except this is not a good thing! The reality most teachers face of being much too busy to do the things we enjoy has kicked in for me this term. I’m sure many of you can understand this when I mention the dreaded 4 letter word: CAMP. Of course it was great fun and the kids got an awful lot out of it, BUT the organisation for camp does tend to suck all the energy you have away from things you’d rather be doing.

I find it very interesting to talk to different teachers and school leaders and get their take on how busy they are and how they make time to be “in their element” as a teacher. Some seem to easily find the time to engage in the things that push their educational buttons. Others seem to get bogged down by the mundane of behavior, trips, planning, camp and so on. I must say that I have tended to be in the former boat until this term, which has made the last few weeks all the more horrible! So, how do you make the time to do PD that interests you? Talk to other educators that have the same interests as you do? Instigate new ideas and programs that ‘spin your wheels’?

Below is a TED talk that rambles a little but has some good advice on work-life balance. It could have some ideas for us.