The conversations that make a difference

Term two.....

Is often the time that the cracks start to show. Internal assessments are on the go and some students can get stuck for a whole variety of reasons.

So this week I've contacted several eTeachers about students I've been feeling a little worried about.

As a result I've:

  • found out that one of my girls is too shy to speak on the hangout- she feels she's "dumb" compared to the other students and even worse she is too  embarrassed to put her work on the community or even share it with the teacher. I showed her how to share a document with only her teacher and assured her it was fine to share work before it became a final product. I contacted her teacher- who was also concerned- and he is going to have a chat to her individually to see what help she needs. I've asked her to give me feedback regularly over the next few weeks and to let me know if she needs to have help from one of our school teachers. I'm so pleased I checked on this before she gave up. She is a year 13 student doing a year 12 course because she wasted last year so her confidence is low.
  • talked with one of my most capable students who has been finding reasons not to go to his hangouts. It turns out he doesn't enjoy them because he feels he's the only one who knows the answers. He gets frustrated with other students who don't prepare for the lesson and so the teacher has to be always going back over things. He really likes the teacher and her passion for her subject. I emailed the teacher to let her know how he was feeling. She was great and very responsive because today he said the lesson was the best yet. His teacher told her students that she would be working ahead in the lessons from now on and that if they got behind they would need to book times to catch up.
  • chatted to a student who has just had a change of teacher- turns out nobody had given either him or me  her email address and he wanted to contact her. He's doing a beginners language as an interest subject and admits that others "more important" subjects have been taking his time. However he is going to give the new teacher a try and decide whether he will continue on. He's really interested in the language but feels he isn't putting in enough work.
And so it goes on- there are more "check ups" underway and I've also organised all of my students to do the NetNZ survey based around perseverance. Next week I will choose the students for my case studies and the survey results along with the checking I've been doing will hopefully indicate my most "at risk" students.

And to finish this post with something really positive I am posting some photos of two of my students comfortably seated in the library while doing their hangout with their Samoan teacher. They were using their phones to check vocab and were happily talking to their teacher completely oblivious to other students around them browsing for books.


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