I've been incredibly lucky this year to have Dr. Leo Rigsby as a frequent guest in my classroom. Leo is an education professor at George Mason University, and was paired with me through the Mentoring Program at the Center for Inspired Teaching in D.C. About once a month, Leo would observe my class. Afterwards, we would usually talk for about half an hour reflecting on the class. He would then type me up a few pages of comments. He was incredibly helpful throughout the year in terms of keeping me focused on empowering my students and keeping my classroom student-centered. I wish more teachers could have this opportunity.
Towards the end of the year, he asked if he could interview some of my students about the experience of being in my class. I jumped at the opportunity. A couple weeks ago, he spent 15 minutes each with three of my classes without me in the room and typed up a summery of the discussions. I have a lot I want to say about the comments, but I'm just going to let them speak for themselves for a few days (plus I have WAY too much packing still left to do). The comments can be found here.
The comments are exactly as he sent them to me with two exceptions.
- I removed the name of the school.
- I also, in brackets, denied two things a student quoted me as saying. They are both things that would be incredibly inappropriate for a teacher to say to students and I do not want people thinking I said them. However, I don't do this to in any way diminish the importance of the perception of this student. If a student perceived me as having made these comments, this is something I need to worry about.