The Best Class Ever

A year ago, I had my first lesson with a new S2 class - a middle set. As usual, I began by saying:
Imagine that it is a year from now. You are leaving the classroom, and as you go, I have a tear in my eye and say "you were the best class ever". What kind of things do you think you would have to do, individually and as a group, in order to make that happen? And as you leave, you say to me "thank you Mr Jones - you were the best teacher ever." What kind of things would I have to do to make that happen?

A year ago, as usual, this led to the class coming up with an excellent set of class rules, and a clear list of their expectations of me as a teacher.  The pupils all signed their list, and I signed mine (once I had negotiated away items like "no homework"!)

Now things don't always pan out the way I would hope, but today, as the class left the room for the last time, I must confess that there was a lump in my throat, and I was able to tell them honestly that they were the best class ever.  They have been a superb learning community.  They have supported each other, never slagged each other off, developed a clear sense of themselves as learners, taken on responsibility for their own learning and been brilliant fun. It was this class did the Counting Cogs investigation, and chose their own method of assessment.  It was Harriet from this class that spoke with me to a journalist (Douglas Blane) from TESS.

I was discussing them with a colleague at the end of the day.  I said that I felt very pleased with the job I had done with them, despite the fact that I knew that most of the success of the class had been down to the youngsters themselves, and that they would have been a great class for anyone.  "That may be true to some extent" said my colleague, "but at least you know that you did not squander that opportunity."  I do, and feel good about that.  But I'm going to miss them.

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