On Wednesday last period I had my level 2 class for a student led training session. As in all sessions so far in this unit I took photo's of the activities the boys were doing with my phone and at the end of the session I took a photo of the notes a non participant had made about what was done. Immediately after the lesson I posted it all to my '12PD circle' so the boys could use it in their write ups and logs, I commented on some of the pictures about positives and negatives and tagged a few of them in pictures. I wrote a blog post about this a couple of weeks ago.
One of the boys who was leading the session has had a particularly hard first term, with parents coming into school to meet with SLT about a poor attitude to work and a lack of attendance - I won't elaborate any further on that, lets just say he was unhappy in school and didn't want to be there, he was very close to quitting school. I made an effort to share all work through google drive with his parents and the 'all with link can view' option and kept them updated with the progress on the student data table.
Today I received a phone call from his mum letting me know that last night he had been really excited about the session he had led and called his whole family over to the computer to show them the pictures of the session and let them know how it went! His mum said he was really proud of the work he had done and it was the first time he had even talked about anything with any passion with his parents for a while - as you can imagine it is hard to get many decipherable vowels out of a 17 year old boy.
As a teacher this made me feel good for two main reasons - Firstly, the immediate and appropriate feedback the boy received about his practical work - on the same day he led the session he was able to re-live it visually and share his successes with others, especially his family. Secondly, the clearly improved attitude in the student towards PE and school in general - this was just the catalyst we needed and I now feel we have turned a corner and are on the right track to the boy achieving his potential
Strangely enough I had emailed the mother an hour before she rang while I was marking all of his work - up to date and of good quality - letting her know how much of an improvement he had made and how well he was doing. She hadn't read the email when I spoke to her so there will be a nice surprise when she checks her emails!
It is episodes like this that make you feel like teachers really can make a positive difference in young peoples lives.