It’s Report Card Time (Again)

Last year at this time, I shared the post below, and several of you took me up on it and asked for feedback from your students— so I’m sharing it again! If you asked students to grade you last year, are you going to do it again? If you didn’t, what if you did this year?

In an episode of the Better Leaders, Better Schools podcast titled “Learning by Doing," when Daniel Bauer interviews Don Wettrick, the Innovation Coordinator at Noblesville High School (which is just outside of Indianapolis, IN). For the past few years, Don has been teaching a nontraditional class modeled after Google’s Genius Hour and has written a book about his experiences.

The interview is full of great ideas such as best practices for an innovative classroom, student project ideas, obstacles to expect from the traditional education paradigm, and great books and resources all educators should check out. My biggest takeaway, though, is that at least twice a year, Don has his students grade him. One of the questions he includes on his semester final is
“What am I doing wrong?"

and his students are brutally honest and he wants them to be. He says, “By the end of the semester, they know that they’re not working for me— I’m working for them. And when I’m not serving my customer base correctly, I want to know. And I actually like criticism because I know it’s aimed to make me better."

As we go into semester tests this week, this idea really hit home for me and perhaps it does for you as well.

What if we all asked our students
to grade how we’re doing?

Educational author and speaker (and former school principal) Todd Whitaker offers these teacher report card suggestions in his book The Ten-Minute Inservice:
  • Does my teacher care about me as a person?
  • Does my teacher hold me accountable for my actions?
  • Does my teacher do his/her best to make class interesting?
  • Does my teacher help me when I am struggling?
  • Is this class interesting? If not, what could my teacher do to make this class more interesting?
  • Does my teacher allow me to actively participate in lessons?
  • Does my teacher treat me with respect?
  • Do I feel successful in this class? If not, what could my teacher do to help me become more successful?
  • Does my teacher enjoy teaching?
  • Is my teacher a good role model for me?
  • One thing I really like about this class is ___________________.
  • One thing I do not like about this class is __________________.
  • If I could change one thing about this class, it would be _________________.

If you’re brave enough, I’d like to encourage you to get some feedback from students, to invite criticism, and to find ways to make next semester better. Feel free to use some or all of the questions above or create your own. But let me offer this warning: students will be brutally honest (but really that’s the only kind of feedback worth listening to!).

  • On Tuesday, Jimmy Teigen and Stuart Cash took our 6th grade class officers to the Stew Pot to serve food and distribute the socks we collected for our Socktoberfest Mustang Mission. Our students did a great job and the socks were much appreciated. They even noticed the Stew Pot calendar on the wall that had a picture of last year’s 6th graders. This Mustang Mission means a lot and it’s much appreciated.

  • Yearbook pictures for winter sports and clubs went very smoothly on Tuesday thanks to Kristy Quattlebaum and the yearbook staff. In all, 18 teams/clubs took pictures, and for the most part, we were able to stay on schedule. Next up: spring sports pictures.

  • Track Attack Shout #1— Both days of Track Attack went very smoothly. Wednesday’s dodgeball tournament was really fun (except for our team losing), and I loved seeing so many teachers involved and having fun with our students. It’s important they see us in a different light, and the dodgeball tournament certainly provides that opportunity. A big thanks to everyone who helped serve food, monitor students, and participate in the dodgeball chaos.

  • Track Attack Shout-Out #2— Yesterday's Elementary Track Attack couldn’t have happened without Chelsea Baber, Melissa Leverett, James Wilhite, Sonya Gates, Lisa Lancaster, Zac Stewart, Jordan Watson, Richard Burton, Kevin Lloyd, David Mauldin, Andy Stewart, and Chad Tappe. It was a little chaotic as we had to make schedule changes due to the accident, but it went great. I love having all of our elementary students here on campus, and they love being here even more!

  • Yesterday morning was crazy. Thank you for modifying and adjusting and helping out as needed.

Upcoming Events
  • Today— Choir Christmas Tour (all day)
  • Saturday, Dec. 9— ACT Testing
  • Sunday, Dec. 10— Mustang Christmas
  • Wednesday, Dec. 13
    • Band Christmas Tour (all day)
    • Tacky Christmas Sweater Library Fundraiser ($2+)
  • Thursday, Dec. 14— 6th & 7th Grade field trip to Argenta Theater
  • Friday, Dec. 15
    • Semester Tests (click here for schedule)
    • Band/Choir Winter Concert Rehearsal (12:15-1:15 HS; 1:30-3:30 MS)
  • Sunday, Dec. 17— Band/Choir Concert & Art Show (2PM)
  • Monday, Dec. 18— Semester Tests
    • MS Enrichment/STEM Activities (8:00-9:30; 10:15-11:45)
    • 11:45 dismissal for all students; MS supervision provided until 3:30 if necessary
    • Click here for schedule.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 19
    • Semester Tests (11:45 dismissal for all students; click here for schedule)
    • End of Grading Period/Semester
    • Grades due before leaving for break
  • Wednesday, Dec. 20- Tuesday, Jan. 2— Christmas Break
  • Wednesday, Jan 3— First Day of 2nd Semester

Responsibilities for the Week of Dec. 11-15
Week A
  • Cafeteria AM— A. Almond
  • Cafeteria PM— L. Noble
  • Parking Lot AM— A. Kyle
  • Parking Lot PM— P. Smith
  • HS Lunch— P. Smith
  • MS Lunch— C. Morse, J. Teigen, & K. Almond
  • Chapel— A. Almond
    • Monday: A. Almond
    • Tuesday: Admin
    • Wednesday: Admin
    • Thursday: Admin (Chapel in Auditorium)
    • Friday: A. Almond
  • Detention— J. Thomas

Remember, it is your responsibility to find a replacement if you are unable to cover your assigned duty. Click here for duty schedule.

Upcoming Meetings
  • PLCs

4 Values (in rank order)
  1. Model Christ
  2. Safety & Security
  3. School First
  4. Quality Instruction

Important School Documents & Links

Resources Worth Checking Out For Personal and Professional Growth

Book Recommendation

About the Book (Amazon)
Readers of Visionary Parenting will capture a fresh,God-sized vision for their family. No matter where they are on the parenting journey, they will see God can transform their home. It begins with understanding God's purpose for the family and taking an honest look at the current state of the home. The author shares the foundational truth that God created the family to ensure that the next generation grows up to know, love, and serve Him. He reminds readers of the instructions from God given directly to parents in Deuteronomy 6:5-7 that will transform your home. Rob also gives encouragement and insight into life-changing action that will impact generations to come. Parents will be inspired to build faith and character in the heart of their kids. Topics covered include: the God-filled normal life, impacting a thousand generations, creating a home of unity, the noble calling of fatherhood and motherhood, the blessing of family worship, and discipline that disciples. Rob Rienow gives insightful advice meant to draw a family closer to God and to each other.

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