Trying Not to say “Good Work”

Personal Development Goals

The personal development goals I have been working on in my teaching experience relates to two sections from the manual: learning to recognize when support is needed and to learn from constructive feedback, and assessing children’s learning. My goal was to work on the language I used, instead of saying “good job” to the students saying things like “you must be proud of yourself”, or asking questions about their work. When students constantly hear good job they look for that response from the teacher. When students are looking for the response of good job they often don’t have to elaborate or share their thinking. This makes it hard to assess the child’s learning as they are often focused on the answer from the teacher and not on their work and its traits. This also makes it hard to tell when the students need help. By asking students to tell you about their work (eg. “how did you do that”, “tell me the steps you took to make that” etc.) it allows them to elaborate and share their knowledge or lack of, of a certain topic. 

In the first few lessons I taught I really tried to work on my vocabulary. Mrs. Gellner pointed it out to me after my first day that I often say “ good job” or “ good work”. After she said this I began noticing the amount I say “good job” and realized I often don’t say much else both at school and in my swimming lessons. I  tried to work on my vocabulary by writing down ideas on my lesson plans, and going over them in my head before my lesson and throughout the day. This has helped me to switch up my words to the students however I definitely still have a lot of work to get used to using different terms. Although I will now more on to work on other goals I will always be working toward this goal to better my language use for my students. With the change I have made in the classroom I have seen the students more engaged, and willing to discuss their work. This has shown me a lot about the who the students are and their strengths, and areas for improvement.