It’s Report Card Time (Again)

Last year, 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 finish out this grading period, 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 _________________.
  • What three words describe my teacher in this classroom?
  • On a scale of 1-10 (1- negative; 10- positive), how would I rate my overall experience in this class so far?

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!).

  • Lynnette Noble & STUCO did an awesome job this crazy Homecoming week! It’s been great! Mrs. Noble is doing a fantastic job leading our STUCO through her first homecoming week. Be sure to tell her thanks for all her hard work.

  • We hosted the district volleyball tournament this week, and it went great thanks to Hayden Cruce. Although we lost on Wednesday night, it was a great evening with the devotional and then a huge crowd (and giant student section) at the game.

  • Welcome to Mustang Mountain, Joe Gafford. It turns out, Mr. Gafford does indeed like orange, and he really got into the homecoming spirit yesterday by decorating his classroom with a bunch of orange things.

  • A big thanks goes to Jason Gates for doing announcements yesterday in chapel. Because he did such a great job, we may start spreading the wealth with anyone else interested in making announcements.

  • The 6th grade class collected over 800 pairs of socks for Socktoberfest (in addition to the money raised last week on a spirit day) and donated them to River City. How awesome is that?! Kassandra Allison, Tamara Hodges, and Jimmy Teigen each challenged their classes, and the kids went all out. I’m so pumped about that! Way to go.

  • Although a little crazy, this was a great week. Thank you to everyone who dressed up, helped STUCO with games, and who were all-in on homecoming week.

Upcoming Events
  • Today
  • Saturday, October 20
    • 5th/6th grade football playoff semifinal vs PA (9:00 AM; Mustang Mountain)
  • Monday, October 22
    • Parent/Teacher Conference (no school)
      • Sign-Up Genius is a great way to schedule conferences. If you do, adjust the display settings to read "already filled" (rather than displaying the parent’s name in the sign up list after a spot has been reserved).
  • Wednesday, October 24
    • 6th Grade Coffee House
  • Thursday, October 25
    • Family Chapel
    • Band Mentor Mixer (11:45-1:00; all band students will miss their 5th period class)
  • Friday, October 26
    • Chick-Fil-A Leader Academy Session #2 (7:30-8:45 AM)
    • Faculty Meeting (7:30 AM; Library)
  • Saturday, October 27
    • Mustang Scramble
  • Monday, October 28-Wednesday, October 31
    • 7th grade & JH basketball tryouts (after school)
  • Wednesday, October 31
    • 6th Grade Field Trip
  • Thursday, November 1
    • Flu Shots (7:00-9:00)
    • 7th & 8th grade schedule changes (for basketball; the master schedule will not change— only rosters)

Anything missing? If so, please let me know.

Responsibilities for the Week of October 22-26
Week A (again)
  • Cafeteria AM— J. Gafford
  • Cafeteria PM— L. Noble
  • Parking Lot AM— A. Almond
  • Parking Lot PM— J. Teigen
  • Lunches-- Coaches
  • D-Hall—
  • Chapel— T. Vick
    • Monday No School (P/T Conferences)
    • Tuesday— T. Vick
    • Wednesday Worshipful Wednesday (C. Tappe)
    • Thursday— Family Chapel
    • Friday— STUCO

Remember, it is your responsibility to find a replacement if you are unable to cover your assigned duty. Check the cheat sheet for the full duty schedule.

Resources Worth Checking Out For Personal and Professional Growth

Book Recommendation (Releases Tuesday, October 23)

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

Important School Links

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