Second semester starts for me on Wednesday. Out with the old, in with the new. Students will come to us, fresh from writing exams for their first semester classes, hopefully ready to dive into their new classes.
Even though it’s a time to begin again, it’s also important to look back. Education should be about learning, not just collecting marks and credits, and so it’s part of our job to help students reflect. I like to take some time at the beginning of a new course to have students think about their previous successes and failures as an English student. I like to make a big deal about their failures too. Not to make them feel bad, but to help them realize that those failures are an integral part of the learning process. (You can click HERE to check out a post I wrote in September that explains my approach to this, as well as a letter I give to students).
After I try to convince them that failure is a good thing, they will spend some time thinking about themselves as English students. I want them to think about the feedback they have gotten in previous classes. I want them to acknowledge and celebrate what they do well and to remember what they need to improve–then set some goals for doing so.
If you’d like to use this slide show with your students, you can grab it HERE.
Have an amazing start to your new semester!