The Joys of a Teacher Exit Ticket (27/365)

It’s an academic coda to a lesson where everyone played their part. It’s turning getting to the last page of a novel and realizing the plot is resolving itself in a way that is both exactly what you wanted as well as nothing you’d ever expected. It’s getting home from a first date and receiving the perfect text message. It’s finding out a meal you loved comes with a complimentary dessert.

I love a good exit ticket.

That love is why I spend so much time thinking about authentic, helpful, meaningful uses of this after dinner mint of learning.

It is also why I’ve started thinking about what teacher exit tickets might look like. I’m not saying exit tickets from professional development (though those are good too). Teacher exit tickets are in concert with student exit tickets, but they are the questions teachers must answer about what has happened over the course of a lesson. When schedules drown out professional reflection, teacher exit tickets can be moments where we get our heads above the water and survey the ocean around us.

Specifically, two questions stick with me as shaping thoughtful practice and looking for student progress:

  • What were students in this space curious about?
  • What did students leave knowing or able to do that they couldn’t do at the beginning of class?

For each, there is the implied, “And how do I know?”

A teacher exit ticket can act as the link between today’s enacted lesson plan and tomorrow’s aspirations. We know what we’re setting out to do at the top of a school day, but we rarely take the time to allow what actually ended up happening to directly and thoughtfully affect what happens tomorrow. Teacher exit tickets allow for this connective tissue to form.

What other questions would be wise to consider as teacher exit tickets? Add them to the comments below.