eight students were asked to go speak to the reviewer regarding the school environment, academics, etc. one student came to tell me she talked about how great i was. i thanked her for the flattery.
then in the presence of some school staff but no other teachers, my principal said that while she would never say this in front of the teaching staff, it was clear when discussing the teachers that the students overwhelmingly favored my class.
pretty awesome although i sometimes question my principal's motives and wonder if she's being 100% truthful. either way, it's a pretty effective strategy to help teacher feel confident in their practice.
oh also i found out the final regent's passing rate for last year including summer school: 78%. kind of overwhelming because i think it will be highly impossible for me to attain that again this year.
note to self: i know that right now, i can't make my lessons interesting to the students every day. sometimes i even go day after day of difficult skills and practice. i found that right now, for me, the best way to engage the students is to alternate fun topics and projects with rigorous skill development. maybe one day i'll be masterful enough to teach every topic in an interesting, innovative manner. but for now, i'll stick with infusing the curriculum with chart paper, markers, projects, and games every 2-3 weeks. i stick out the tough stuff as much as possible, and push them to their limits of pure mathematical skill. then we take a breather and enjoy an easy, project based unit.
i know some teachers teach everything inquiry and project based but i haven't gotten to that point. in some ways what i do is a cop out, but OTOH it works for my students and i think the change of pace every few weeks invigorates them.
i'm interested in what my take on this method of teaching will be a few years down the line.