Leyton and Bel have been teaching us that creating a class profile is an essential part of planning for the upcoming year. And the best way to build a class profile, according to Leyton, is to get to know your students. Hence the “Getting to Know You” worksheet!
The getting to know you sheet that Leyton created was something I myself filled out at the beginning of my first year in the TEP, so I know how meaningful it can be. It felt good to share about myself with my teachers, who I knew would be planning for me with this sheet.
However, I also know that these kinds of things can feel flimsy and phony to students if you haven’t built that trust and community together.
When I asked Pat about giving the sheet to her students, she didn’t seem keen. She didn’t think they’d get much out of it.
I have to be honest: that was disappointing news, but I understand that she knows more about her kids than I do, so I had to accept she is probably right.
Having said that, it doesn’t mean the Getting to Know You worksheet is the only way to get to know the kids!
Building my class profile
On my second school visit last Thursday, I sat with Pat after class with a list of all the students in the class, and we went through each one and she told me about:
- Medical issues: we have one hard of hearing student and two students with severe allergies
- Mental health issues: there are three students with undiagnosed mental health challenges
- Learning disorders: there’s one student who is being assessed for ADHD
- English additional language: technically there are only 3 EAL students, but Pat says there are more like 5 because some of them just don’t have the funding, but they still need the extra help.
- Gifted: one student is classified as gifted
Pat encouraged me to take time one on one with any of the kids to learn more about them and do a read-aloud. I really hope I have a chance to do that this Thursday!