We spend most of our lives making decisions, choosing the best options, considering the pros and cons. This continuous struggle for finding the best way to follow fills all spheres of our lives. Each and every moment requires personal judgment, whether we think about clothes to wear, lunch to eat, or methods to apply in our classroom.
This week I have learnt about a very important aspect of my profession, i.e. assessment. The first lesson made me think about my own learning style and then analyze the learning styles of my students. How surprised I was to find out that I am NOT a verbal learner though I teach a foreign language! Perhaps my assumptions referring to my students are also based on some overgeneralizations and I should immediately revise them?
I have always believed in the power of assessment. Poor results of my students make me think and analyze my own teaching. Maybe it is my fault? Maybe the requirements were set to high? Maybe I have not explained everything clearly? Creating rubrics appears to clarify at least some of these queries. Comprehensible yet challenging requirements underlie all adequate assessment. This week I managed to create my own rubrics for assessing the final oral exam in English. And although they simply reflect what I have always being using, their unambiguous structure and simple layout seem to address all of my students questions about this particular exam. Sometimes simple solutions are the best!
The further we move on with this course, the more I realize the quality of my teaching and the significance of my endeavours. Working with people, we are not only responsible for their knowledge, but also for their formation as human beings. We teach them structures and vocabulary, pronunciation and writing strategies, but do we teach them how to be good people? Are we models for them? What kind of communities our classes are? Finally, how can our assessment influence their future decisions? It can, for sure…