Sitting in the seat of our students

Slice of Life

March 22, 2012

Tonight was time for me to be a student.  I am completing a year long course from a local electrical museum and our districts science professional development coordinator.  It is always a good thing to remember what it is like to be a student.

Questions that I wondered about were

  •  How long can I sit and focus on the instructor – even with hands on activities?
  • How much side talking do I do?
  • Do I help stop our table discussion when the teacher wants our attention?
  • Do I ask questions that help keep us on track?
  • Do I ask questions when I don’t understand?
  • Am I organized about my notes?
  • How did I learn to take notes?
  • What’s most important about what is being said?
  • How do I make those decision?

As I think about my role as a student it makes me realize what I need to do to help my fourth graders be better students.   We don’t always talk about or scaffold what makes a good student.   We need to work on this not just at the beginning of the year but through out the year.   Adding and clarifying that understanding as our students grow and mature.   As writers we need to be sure to help our students learn how to take notes, how to listen for the big ideas to write down,  how to organize their notebooks and organize their thinking around each content area.

As spring arrives and my student are maturing just a little bit I want to help them put in place the skills they will need to be successful for next year as fifth graders.  Tonight was a good reminder of what it really takes to be a successful student.  Always a good thing for us to sit in the seat of our students.

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About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
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One Response to Sitting in the seat of our students

  1. Great advice! I’ve never really thought what it is like to sit the seat of my students. I’ll try it on Monday.

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