The holidays in school are often criticised as being too long. There are many reasons behind this – often political rather than practical. Personally, I would appreciate shorter, more intense term times. Still, in lieu of being able to do anything about that, I use the summer holidays as a period of reflection and recovery.

My last act before leaving was to deliver a series of questionnaires to my classes. Reading them reflects what I have thought about my teaching the past year – inspiring and supportive, but could have encouraged a bit more resilience in my students. I wonder how that might happen: there are reasons behind supporting and modelling and scaffolding work for students. There is always a time-pressure too that requires work to be completed at certain times. But resilience in my learners seems to be  a common theme.

Class discussion as well appears to be a useful thing. And rightly so. I feel my management of speaking and listening has improved immensely the last year, although there is still space to expand that practice. More modelling of thinking phrases – perhaps laminated cards to be on tables? Worth a try for a month. What thinking/talking phrases?

I think…
What about…
The part I understand is…
This reminds me of…
This links to…

The 4Ws
In my opinion
Have you considered . . .

I could put these in a rubric. Or I could just give them and rubric them where necessary. Maybe even the pattern of responding to a point before making another people, or realising at least the patterns made in such things, would be useful.