Yesterday a friend of mine pointed me to a blog entry by a teacher named Paul Bogush entitled “I can’t save everyone…“. Paul is an 8th grade social studies teacher in Connecticut and in his post he laments about the fact that he can’t save everyone and warns that his focus on data has caused him to overlook the reasons why students are struggling. He’s not giving up looking at data and analyzing where he can focus his energies but instead is thinking about his students as people and thinking beyond the data. In working through this thinking, he asked his students a few questions including what they would like to see him do differently in the second quarter. One struggling student simply answered “Talk to me.”
I can only imagine what he felt as he digested that answer and internalized the fact that he had been calling on students and working with them but maybe not “talking” with them. His solution was to begin collecting a different kind of data.
I printed off of all of my class rosters and placed a check next to each kid that I “talked to” today. Go ahead try it. If you do nothing else today, print off a class list and place a check next to each kid that you talked to today. Not just a question and answer back and forth, but a few sentences either in or outside of class. I wonder what that data would show over time. I bet that the kids who aren’t doing so well would be the same kids missing checks next to their names on more than one occasion. – Paul Bogush, November 13, 2012
If you were to do this, what would your data show? Do you talk and interact with your students? As Paul has recognized, he can’t save them all, but he can most certainly talk to them.
Read Paul’s post at http://blogush.edublogs.org.