Friday, January 18, 2013

Mission Statement Posters

I went through with it.  Each of my Algebra classes and I had a discussion about what our job is as a student, a teacher, and a class.  The posters below are the product of our discussion about our job as a class.  

There was definitely a theme yesterday and is was "Stop Waiting"

Stop waiting to ask for help.
Stop waiting for the teacher to remind you to do your work.
Stop waiting for the teacher to ask you to come during homeroom for extra help.
Stop waiting for your neighbor to ask you for help, offer your help.
Stop waiting to begin the group work.
Stop waiting for the teacher to give the correct answer.
Stop waiting for the teacher to tell you what outcomes you have to work on.
Stop waiting for the teacher to tell you to take notes.
Stop waiting to make corrections.

Period 1 noticed that everything we talked about was linked to each other.  If we stop waiting, we will be giving out best effort.  If we are giving out best effort, then Flashback days will work.  If Flashback days work, then I will pass the class and become more knowledgeable, Once my grade improves I'll be motivated to stop waiting.  

Student don't believe you until they experience it themselves.  One student came to my class one day during a study hall, and I told him that the only way he could stay in my class was if he did the practice problems for an outcome and reassessed the next day.  He agreed.  The next day during Flashback, he walked in the room asked for the test, passed, and now he's passing the class.  He's a believer.  It was that student's suggestion to put "Flashback Works" on the poster.

Period 6 emphasized that our main goal as a class was to learn Algebra 1.  Everything else we do supports that goal.  They were especially focused on having fun.  Not because we don't, but because we do.  They noticed that they're not as willing or motivated to work in the boring classes.

I can't get this photo to rotate.  Any ideas?

Period 7 wrote this little poem.  I think many of them found this activity a waste of time.  I guess we'll find out.  There was one area where we just didn't agree.  I like to give problems where they have all the knowledge to solve the problem, but I didn't teach them exactly how to do it.  When we were discussing what my job was as a teacher, this came up.

Student - It's your job to teach us.

Me - I agree.

Student - No, I mean when you give us those problems that we don't know how to do, you're not doing your job.

Me - Do you think it's my job to teach you every little step?  Or is it my job to give you the tools you need to succeed?

Student - It's your job to teach us every little step.  

Me - Suppose you are an employer and you have a worker who only does the work you asked him how to do and that you showed him exactly how to do it.  What do you think about that worker?

Student - That's fine.  He's doing his job.

Me - Okay.  Now suppose you have another employee who does things correctly that you didn't ask him to do, nor did you show him how to do it.  What do you think about that worker?

Student - I would give him a raise!


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