Sunday, November 27, 2011

False Breakthroughs

I have not had the energy or the time to write a post in a very long time, but I am inspired tonight after a draining day…

Just to get you up to date:

Today I marked my first HSC Standard English assessment task, well the draft anyway. The task is a creative writing portfolio, related to belonging, where students are asked respond imaginatively to different stimuli, hand in a draft to gain feedback and hopefully reflect on and improve their writing. I created this for their first assessment so they begin to understand that English and writing is a process.
I have been teaching my class since the last term of year 11. When I inherited these wonderful students they had had five teachers in twenty weeks, so they were a little behind. Since beginning with this class every student has significantly improved in engagement, writing, motivation and effort. 

Considering my above statement, I was really excited to be marking my the first part of their assessment task. The first one I read, I honestly wanted to cry, I thought to myself ‘You did it!’ Then I read the next. I didn’t understand, this student had shown vast improvement, in class they had done everything I had asked them to do, but their response did not reflect this. I read another, the same time and again. Not even half of the class had put the effort into following the instructions which were on the assessment task sheet and which I had explicitly explained several times during classes leading up to the due date. 

They tell you at university that you will have breakthroughs, but no one can explain to you what if feels like to have a false one.