Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Day 24 - it's never too late to be great

Progress report grades due today and I am feeling a little concerned about my 11th graders.  Many students don't get that 11th grade is the most important for college until 12th grade. Right now about 13 of 'em do not have transferable grades.  I mustn't stress about it more than them, I will just keep myself available after school til 5 everyday in hopes they want to make up assignments and take time to re- learn with me.

After school today I had a session with my coach from Stanford. One of my many pd ventures involves the Stanford University Hollyhock Fellowship, a wonderful two year program for teachers with 8 years and less, who want to hone their craft through 2 summers of intensives living at the dorms and then yearlong observations and coaching.  Its been very powerful for my practice and has helped me articulate my teaching goals.  Anyway today, we talked about what kind of data I will collect for the academic interventions I plan on doing with home visits.  I called one parent yesterday for a home visit and she assured me she will make sure her son shows up to school, even if she has to sit with him in class. Not ready for a home visit.  This inquiry into the impact of home visits may result in finding that no parent wants one, so they just stay more on top of their kids.  But part of my wanting to do home visits is not to frighten the students into doing better and wanting more; its so I could get to know them better and possibly make their learning more relevant and have more ways to connect to them in the classroom.
We'll see. I have set the date of October 9th to have made 3 home visits, which leaves enough time in the semester to see if it makes an impact.

Students need smaller classes and way more one on one time. I know this seems like a no-brainer- but it really hit me today when I had the opportunity to work one on one with a few students after school and saw their eyes and minds light up with clarity and understanding. 

Its never too late to be great.

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