Summer school went by so fast. I was expecting 20 students in my class but only 4-6 students were consistently showing up. My summer scholars '08 all worked very hard, and I had fun with them too. I enjoyed working with my two sweet ESL students and with our very helpful ESL inclusion teacher. We shared a lot of stories, strategies, and learned a lot from each other. But unexpected things happen during unexpected times. But like a girl scout, I was always ready...
Most of my students already submitted their research paper project, did the oral report, and took the finals last Monday. So I was thinking yesterday of just going with them to the computer lab after playing a jeopardy game as a fun way of assessing what they learned this summer. But, lo and behold! When I entered the classroom, the DCPS summer school monitor was waiting for me and for my class to start. He asked me if it was OK to see the students do their oral report again. I was so nervous as he took out the rating sheet for teacher performance. This was a BIG surprise two days before the end of summer school. Would I still be allowed to teach summer school again next year?
While my students were doing their daily autobiographical writing (with soft classical music in the background), I pulled out the grading sheets of my students which I printed from my online gradebook and gave them to the DCPS summer school monitor. I handed him the notebook of one of my students so he'll be able to see if we had followed the pacing guide that DCPS gave for this summer, and what extra work I gave them as a learning supplement. Their notebooks also showed their quizzes, and that I had been checking their work and I was giving them feedback about how they could improve their work more.
So my students shared their excellent writings. And then two of them volunteered to do their oral presentation again based from the novel that we read in class (El Bronx Remembered). They were so confident while presenting with the powerpoint that they did themselves in class. I was so proud of them!
Afterwards, the monitor thanked me and left. Whew! Did I make it? My principal came in just few minutes before I dismissed my class. He gave me a photocopy of the teacher performance rating sheet from the DCPS summer school monitor. YES! I got excellent ratings! The monitor said before he left that I was one of the best teachers in DCPS he has seen so far.
It's true what they said. You'll see rainbow after the rain. I had been so much in pain and going through difficult times in my workplace in the past. But I had managed to stay focused, persisted and persevered, maintained positivity and stayed strong. It feels so good to be appreciated for all your hardwork.
My sincere gratitude also to my summer school principal for all the support and the motivation. He is one humble leader, who is very supportive of his staff and truly works for the best interest of the students. In my five years of teaching in DCPS, I have never worked under an instructional supervisor like him. He was relentless in doing his rounds to the teachers, personally checking on us and our students, sometimes it made me jump when he suddenly showed up on my door. He earned my utmost respect for that!
My family is going on a camping with our friends this weekend...can't wait for that!
Summer Scholars '08 Class Blog
Sample Walk Through Observation E-Form