Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Middle school & end of year reflection

After a year of trying to establish rapport with middle school I think the obvious is as follows:
Without teaching upper school classes and being involved with NCOS, middle school teachers have disconnected from upper school requirements through no fault of their own.

Added to the traditional "it's an issue at primary level - but we have five years to rectify it" we also now have "it's an issue with middle school, how can we possibly fix it in two years".

Students wrapped in cotton wool, unable to connect success with working hard find senior school difficult.

Assessment changes and alteration to pedagogical methodology in middle school has reduced the rigor required for TEE subjects especially in those with little discipline at home.

Without a detailed syllabus, critical topics can be deferred to later years causing irreparable damage.

Responsibility for subject performance should be left in the hands of those that understand the subject area.

Graduation should not be automatic. Pastoral needs of the individual should not be placed above the academic needs of the student and group as a whole.

Students can be entertained and placed with friends to stay in school but when once the demands of TEE level education arrives, it gives students too little time to adjust to the requirements of real study. The adjustment needs to occur in year nine - especially for the gifted kids.

General observations from 2008:
Streaming in mathematics is required where more than four levels exist across a cohort.

Intervention time is limited to less than 1 minute per student in homogeneous classes greater than thirty and puts teachers at risk with the current defer intervention actions BMIS discipline policy. Intervention time is greatly increased in a streamed class as peer assistance, direct instruction and modelled lessons become more effective.

Collaborative lessons can work when consequences for non-performance are correctly administered (peer pressure is a fantastic tool in this case).

The most reward comes from success with students with the least demonstrated ability.

Any student (without a learning difficulty) can learn any topic given an adequate amount of time (Kevin Casey).

Male students are not getting the results in mathematics in line with their ability levels.

It is possible to make a difference. Bring on 2009.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you! It's always good to receive feedback!

    ReplyDelete

Hi, thanks for leaving a comment.. it's good to hear what people think!