Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Do As I Do, Not As I Say

A couple of days ago, one of our APs dropped in on my Beginner ESL class for a snapshot observation.  Thankfully, the observation went well and his report was mostly favorable.   He observed me as I was explaining the details of an upcoming project.  Overall, he was very complimentary, but he commented that a rubric would have been helpful to clearly describe my expectations.  While I do use rubrics quite often, there’s nothing that works better than modeling.  
In my experience, there’s no better scaffolding than classroom modeling.  Showing students what I expect rather than just providing a checklist or rubric has proven to be so much more effective, particularly for Beginner English Learners.  Regardless of what the end result is, a sample of the final product is the perfect visual. Better yet, if they can watch you create the product, you will be able to address issues they will encounter along the way.  After presenting the final product, then review the checklist or rubric.

If I could rewind to yesterday and have my observation again, I would have liked for him to have observed more modeling.  He would see how I demonstrate the steps and let my students see what the end result should look like, as well as a review of the rubric and goals for a perfect score.

So rather than asking students to “do as I say” or do as I write on a rubric, I will have my students to “do as I do” and hopefully next time an administrator stops by he or she will see that in action.

I’m still a work-in-progress and I’m thankful for second chances!  #BestYearEver

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