Class Profile – Part 2
Well, what do you know! I was able to use the Getting to Know You worksheet after all, and it was a success.
I learned a lot about my students through this exercise, including personal interests and challenges, but also insights into the class as a whole and about students or this age-group in general.
A few of the biggest insights:
- Students who are silent don’t necessarily want to be silent. They want to be encouraged to speak up! I had no idea that might be the case. One girl in particular said that during this year she wanted to learn to use her voice!
- Some students have a lot of issues, but many students either do not have issues, or they are not in touch with or know how to express them. For example, a few of the students had very superficial answers for all of the questions, while other students were transparent about difficult things they were going through.
- Students do have goals for their academic lives. While it may seem like they groan and moan at school about their work, their answers to the Getting to Know You about their academic goals appear to suggest that they care deeply about school.
When Leyton asked us to complete a Getting to Know You sheet during our visit to Royal Heights in Surrey last year, I was excited to have the opportunity to share myself with my instructors. What made this even more special was the fact that Leyton took that information and used it to personalize his message to us. He mentioned here and there things that were specific to the Getting to Know You. Not personal stuff, but things we might be proud of. For example, when he would ask me a question in class, he would say, “Someone who loves to write science fiction.” This made me feel special and included.
I would like to find ways to do something similar with my students. I don’t have a lot of air-time with them during the weekly visits–only an hour each week if I am lucky, so I think I might need to find different ways to do this.
One such approach could be my individual conferences. I’ve been meeting with all of the students individually to do informal reading assessments, and to chat with students about their lives. I haven’t been able to finish this work because I seem to be really busy during , but I plan to do that during my long practicum.