Sandwiching comments

It’s been a while since I’ve done a public post on here. Life has been busy over the past two months but I feel the need to write something publicly today.

One of the things that I’ve found very important in my classroom is making sure that I give compliments along with what I want a student to work on. When they’re giving a presentation or I’m conferencing with them on their writing, I try to make sure that they hear what they are doing right as well as areas that need to be improved. It’s the same with everyone really. Who wants to hear just their faults, just the things they need to improve without any praise?

I’ve been teaching this skill to my students as well. When a classmate shares a piece of writing, or a project for example, I ask the class to give comments and ask questions. Today, for example, one of my students shared a piece of writing that she’s been working on for a while. She’s not one of my strongest students but she’s improving a great deal with her writing. A few students had some questions about what had happened in her story and one gave a great idea of something that she could change. Another student said “I really liked your story” which isn’t enough for me. “What did you like about her story?” I asked. “I liked how much dialogue she used. It helped me see the story as it was happening.” – I love it when they start using phrases like that that they’ve heard from me, especially when it’s true, she does use a lot of dialogue and it does help to make her story more real.

I’m proud of my students and how far they’ve come. I’m proud of myself as well for doing as well as I have this year. I know that things were not perfect this year and I know that there were many pitfalls and difficult times. But there are moments like that where I can take pride in what I have done as a teacher.


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