Part 4 —Student Self-Assessment and Reflection

And you say something wrong and then they correct you. Sometimes, in order to take it in a good way or a positive way you just want to laugh—instead of, like, being negative about it, saying “Please don’t correct me” or “you’re always correcting me” and stuff like that. You’d want to take it in a positive way. ’Cause it’s good feedback, ’cause you don’t want to make the mistake again. - Garlyn, 15


In this fourth installment of our “Just Listen” series of one-minute video clips, high school students from NYC iSchool and Prospect Hill Academy (Somerville, MA) talk about their personal "take aways" from reflecting on and assessing their own progress as learners. These students are blessed, we hasten to add, by attending schools that prize student-centered learning; view assessment as ongoing, multi-dimensional, and collaborative; track social and emotional development along with academic; and embrace individualized assessment and student reflection. Both research and gut sense point to the power of engaging students as partners in the assessment process.

We hope you’ll pass the clips on to others through the networks you use, as well as using them to spark thoughtful conversations in your own setting. To view these video clips full screen, click on the icon with four arrows in the lower right corner of the frame. Transcripts appear at the bottom of this page, followed by links to other parts of this video collection.

NOTE: Over 200 of these Just Listen clips appear on the Just Listen channel on YouTube. Look on the right-hand side of the screen for playlists dedicated to specific themes: The Teacher-Student Relationship, Becoming Adult, Just-Right Learning Challenges, and many more. (If you want to get a new playlist by email once a week, click here and our Fires in the Mind blog will make that happen!)

Elijah, 17
A new perspective on myself
Maranda, 16
Getting help
Farhan, 16
Everybody is important
Wedjeena, 14
Reviewing our answers
Wilson, 16
I try to push myself
Garlyn, 15
Humor takes out the sting


A new perspective on myself
 Through writing I learned a lot about myself, because I really . . . it’s a really good coping skill to let go of stress. And I really learned a lot about myself. Like just . . . just like the move and just dealing with stress and just with my mom and my brother . . . And I just really opened up and think, “Wow. I was wrong on this aspect, and this is why my mother made this decision.” Or, “This is why my brother got in an argument with me.” Like I just really opened up to think . . . I just opened up so much more. Like I don’t know how to explain it. It’s just crazy . . . to believe just how closed-minded I was at a certain amount of time. And I just thought, “Oh, I’m always gonna think this way. This is just how it is.” But it’s not always that way, because there’s so much more than just your perception of things. ­– Elijah, 17

Getting help
Going into high school, I know one of my struggles doing all the talking that I was doing, you know, I struggled with admitting when I needed help. And I think, you know, as I went on . . . with my freshman year and my sophomore year and now my junior year . . . learning how to say, you know, “Listen. I need help with this. You know, can you help me with this specifically?” . . . And that really helped me as a student.­– Maranda, 16

Everybody is important
They also told me that . . . the biggest thing that they learned was that procrastination . . . definitely get rid of it. But also cherish every one of your experiences. Cherish whoever you meet and try to remember whoever you are, whoever you meet. And don’t ever belittle anybody, because you never know. Somebody you’re walking up the stairs with or somebody you’re in the elevator with could be your next potential boss. Or it could be . . . it could be any person that you might . . . you might be related to. I could be anybody, so they said, “Don’t ever belittle anybody and try to make . . . try to socialize with everybody whenever you get the chance.” And I think I’m gonna remember that . . . actually, I will remember that for the rest of my life, because it just changed my entire, like, mindset. Because now I feel like everybody . . . every potential person that I meet is somebody important, so I just try to keep an open mind with everybody and if somebody says anything to me, I try to just throw it away. – Farhan, 16

Reviewing our answers
We do this all the time though. Because like in tests, we have to go over our tests. And we’re gonna get . . . it’s kind of a hassle, but the thing is they give us our . . . they give us higher grades. We have to like go over and see everything that we got wrong, and we need to, like . . . He doesn’t give us the correct answers. We have to do it ourselves, what we did wrong. And he has, like, examples and stuff that will help us. So that, that, that’s also . . . I think that actually helps me because I get to see what I did wrong by myself. Which I can improve, like later on. But when the teacher just says, “This is wrong, or you need . . . this is how you do it,” I don’t think that’s that’s gonna help us. – Wedjeena, 14

I try to push myself
When I try to keep myself in line from trying to do things that aren’t good, you know, I say, “Wilson!” Or I just say, “Don’t do this because it’s not, it’s not the right thing to do. You can do other things better.” I feel myself critiquing in that—and also, let’s say in baseball I make a bad throw. That wasn’t good. That wasn’t good. You know, uh… I just try to push myself, and I could get frustrated on myself, even just thinking about what I’d done wrong. But it’s . . . it’s just that I know other people might be thinking the same, but they’re not telling me. And I would appreciate if they did tell me! But I have myself also, to—in case they’re not telling me that I’m doing something wrong. I just can’t trust myself all the time, because what I think might be right, might be wrong for someone else. – Wilson, 16

Humor takes out the sting
And you say something wrong and then they correct you. Sometimes, in order to take it in a good way or a positive way you just want to laugh—instead of, like, being negative about it, saying “Please don’t correct me” or “you’re always correcting me” and stuff like that. You’d want to take it in a positive way. ’Cause it’s good feedback, ’cause you don’t want to make the mistake again. But sometimes good feedback doesn’t, um, get you what you want. So it’s always good to have a laugh at yourself. Just look in the mirror and laugh. [laughs] – Garlyn, 15

Click on the links below to read other monthly JustListen postings.


Made possible by MetLife Foundation




Shout Outs



have a story for wkcd?

Want to bring public attention
to your work? WKCD invites
submissions from youth and
educators worldwide.

Write to us


“There’s a radical—and wonderful—new idea here… that all children could and should be inventors of their own theories, critics of other people’s ideas, analyzers of evidence, and makers of their own personal marks on the world.”

– Deborah Meier, educator