Quiz days are one of my favorite things about teaching. My students get a chance to show what they know, I get a fresh batch of data to track, and most importantly my students get to respond to one of my patented post-quiz writing prompts. These prompts are something I borrowed from a TFA video, however, mine always have a twist designed to increased student engagement and minimize distractions to the students who are still being assessed.
Especially with the specter of state testing looming large (or already upon us) it can be easy to forget how awesome and hilarious your students really are. Writing prompts are one way that I build in space for my students to bring more of themselves into my math classroom, and they help me to get to know my students more fully as people. The fact that they are a lot of fun to respond to doesn’t hurt either.
Prompt #1: Use the lines below to write to Mr. Winn. You can write about anything you’d like. Talk about what songs you’d like Mr. Winn to play during group work time, your family, how you feel about your effort this week, or anything else you would like.
Prompt #2: If you could have any superpower what would it be and why would you choose this power? What would your hero’s name be and what would your costume look like ? Draw a picture in the space below.
Prompt #3: If you had a time machine and could go back in time, who would you want to have dinner with and why? Remember this can be any person living or dead. What would you have to eat?
The prompts listed above are a few of my favorite ways to get to know my students better and engage them in a conversation outside of my content area. What have you done to build relationships with your students? Do you have a favorite prompt?
But what you probably didn’t realize is what it would do for your career.
As a DonorsChoose teacher you have a competitive edge in the job market, a reputation-by-association for being a problem-solving, self-starting, whatever-it-takes professional.
Your DonorsChoose success is what makes you different. And, as the Backstreet Boys would tell you, what makes you different makes you beautiful—or, in this case, hireable.
That is, as long as you know how to leverage it.
Ah, summer is near, which might hold the promise for you of rest and relaxation, time to get back into your favorite hobbies, and space in your schedule to connect with your friends and loved ones.
The beginning of summer break has always been meaningful to me. Summer definitely means more breathing room and time to rejuvenate, but it also affords me an opportunity to reflect on how I did during the past year on my overall well-being. I encourage you to take some time this summer to perform just such a wellness check in, judging from a distance how you did with your own balance over the past year. During the school year you likely did your best to grit your teeth and just get through it. Now that you’re through it, take this time to assess what you learned about the demands this job makes of you and any changes you can make to improve your quality of life.
Consider the following: Continue reading