Q. Do you keep these questionnaires filed near the front of the class, so you can scan through them and incorporate them into stories?
A. This is a very important question. I look at no more than four students’ questionnaires at a time before a regular class. Reviewing their content for at least a few minutes before each class means that those are the kids who are going to get in on the CI that day.
I just can’t remember any more than four kids, and I often forget to look at any questionnaires. It is a lot to try to remember such details among the all the rest of the stuff we have to remember in between classes anyway, but what is more important than our kids?
Often, nothing from the questionnaires gets into the class. I just don’t make a connection. But, it sometimes happens that I can incorporate one or more details of what I read about the kid into the lesson. As soon as that happens, the kids sense it and convey a kind of respect and appreciation that I have tried to shift the discussion to make it about them. They get more into it.
What is more valuable than personalizing our classrooms as much as we possibly can? Nothing, in my opinion. When we bring up, in the midst of the daily grinding out of CI, stuff our kids do, their names, and the quirky little things that define them, we etch the CI deeper into their minds, because it is about them, which we know is at the core of what makes TPRS work so well.