Reflection 01 – Prediction: Based on your previous experiences in English classes, what do you think English I will be like? What would “being successful” in this class look like for you? Do you think you will be successful? What will you do to work toward success?
I’ve been teaching English II almost exclusively for several years. For the past two years, I’ve had English II Honors. So returning to working with freshmen is going to be interesting. I’m familiar with the course material, and I have some new ideas that I’m really excited about trying out.
From what I remember, freshmen are a little more compliant than upperclassmen, although this is less noticeable in second-semester classes. On the other hand, they often haven’t developed effective study habits of their own yet and need more guidance than older students would. I know I’m going to have to work to keep in touch with parents. Freshmen still need a good bit of support as they work toward independence. However, parents of high school students are often less involved, because they want to encourage that independence, and because the classes are more challenging and they’re less confident about being able to help.
What success would look like for me as a teacher would be having students produce work that improves in quality over the course of the semester, showing a deeper, more thorough understanding of the grammar and literary devices we study. Students will have their work returned to them in a timely manner, with feedback that helps them identify areas of success and struggle. Ideally, the way that I introduce the work we study will pique curiosity and encourage students to be inquisitive and engaged in their learning.
To stay on track toward success, one thing I’m going to try doing this semester is keeping a log of when I’ve updated grades and making sure that all students receive feedback at least weekly. Because we write every day, it’s easy for work to pile up. My goal is to have all classwork returned within four days, and assessments returned within a week.