A new year… a new start: thinking about feedback.

With the end of summer, another school year begins.  For me, I have almost lost track of how many years I have been teaching high school math.  It’s fun every year, but I also can’t stop thinking about how to do it better.  A few things are running through my mind as reach midway through September.  I am curious and eager to teach a course I have not taught before, and I am excited to continue to re-invigorate and energize a course called Precalculus Honors.

As I correct some homework problems, I find myself wishing I had a stamp that allowed me to repeat my comments on each student’s page.  Instead, I’m rewriting over and over again: “These graphs look good – what else could be on your paper to help me see how you thought about sketching this graph?”  Part of me is wondering whether I could just say this out loud in class to all, to get the message across.  However, I have become less and less convinced that what I say in class is heard.  This is not to imply that my students aren’t attentive; I’m fortunate to teach in an independent school with small class sizes and eager learners.  Unfortunately, this means that I sometimes risk being lazy.  I need to keep thinking and learning about ways to keep my students engaged, and to help them learn from me and each other.  Therefore, feedback is a vital part of my work and even though my hand hurts a bit, I feel like each of my students will learn more from this assignment if I send this personal note to each one of them.


One thought on “A new year… a new start: thinking about feedback.

  1. Heather-What you are so good at is trying new things and encouraging that in the rest of us. For example, the Math Expo. You understand that it takes time to get things right but nor matter! That attitude is inspiring because it gives us the confidence to try new things. You give us all permission to change and grow at out own pace.


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