Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Portfolios and Confidence

I've just finished skimming/reading Richard Kent's book, Room 109. The book is about portfolio assessed, student centered classrooms. He has an amazing format set up, supervises a high school Writing Center, and allows his students a lot of freedom, but comes across much more humble and honest than most education authors. I would definitely recommend the book.

I read Room 109 because I want to assess students using portfolios while student teaching next semester. Over the past week and a half, I've experienced varying degrees of confidence and concern. Yesterday I couldn't remember learning one thing about how to teach the same book to an entire class, all I could remember was book clubs. Pulling When Students Can't Read, What Teachers Can Do by Kylene Beers refreshed my memory, but how could I forget tools like anticipation guides so quickly?

I've been over confident too. If you checked the blog a few days ago, you'd find a rant about how I think vocabulary should be taught in schools and how not to teach it. My naive complaining made me so sick I deleted the post before too many readers could judge me by it.

Despite by three and a half years of college education and three semesters in smaller student teaching roles, I feel now as if I still don't know what I'm doing. But I also have all these ideas I want to bring into the classroom. It's hard to describe - I have the theory, but not the practice.

Professor Chance Lewis had two phrases last semester: "Never think you're good, 'cause that's when you're not," and have confidence in front of your students or they'll eat you alive.

Where's the line that I need to walk?

1 comment:

  1. Good luck to you in teaching. Theory is important and provides an important foundation, but things change when you are actually in the classroom. Everyone says this and I'm finding it to be true, your first year of teaching sucks. You don't even know what you don't know. How can you plan for something that you had no idea was going to happen. Keep your head up and keep fighting the good fight.