Fantastical worlds filled with magic and intrigue, yet safely hidden behind the shroud of our reality, mingling with the muggle world seamlessly for just the chosen few who know. Muggle or magical, within each of us is a spark that is unique and worthy of uncovering. What lessons have you learned from your favorite books?
Although I haven't written poetry for a while, it is always amazing to me the relationship we have with words (or at least it's my inner nerd that tells me everyone has one of those kinds of relationships.) Often when I consider education the images and emotions it provokes within me at challenging times, putting a landscape of ideas together in a different way helps me to tackle, name and start to move through challenges.
As another school year officially comes to a close, I soak in the stillness of the empty space and all of the learning it holds within its once text-rich walls. Saying goodbye is always bittersweet, but when you know you aren't returning, there is a finality to it that lingers closer to sad.
Mastery of content and skills take time and kids need to be allowed the amount of time needed to attain that mastery. We need to offer them opportunities to show what they know in a variety of ways and then not penalize or reward those who do it slower or faster. Mastery is just that and it doesn't matter when a child gets it, it only matters that they do.
As every new year begins, so does the adventure. After you've had time to reflect on this past school year, what will be your five goals for next year?
We sometimes mistake a student's attitude about compliance and authority with his/her ability to learn. By not focusing on the work (any or all products and proof of learning in our space), we fail the students by forcing them to jump through unnecessary hoops.
If you would have asked me at the beginning of my career where I saw myself in the future, I'm not sure I could have imagined being where I am now.
It's time for us to think about assessing learning the same way we teach diverse and divergent learners, with a level of personalization and humanity that allows each learner to show what they know in a meaningful ways. People will say that portfolio assessment takes too much work and shows too much subjectivity, but I disagree. Every learner takes a different amount of time to produce his/her best work and the additional anxiety associated with being timed stymies that testing opportunity exponentially.
Student learning and inspiration is by far the biggest reason I've returned to teaching each year. Every time I say goodbye to another group of kids, I feel saddened by the loss, but invigorated by their possibilities. Always eager to hear later how things are going, I continue to make myself available despite not seeing them everyday. Technology is great for keeping relationships current.
I have so much gratitude for the amazing educators in my life who help to inform my decisions. The people who listen when I call, who answer my tweets. Thank you. Your experience matters and it makes me better. What have you learned this year that you weren't expecting to learn? Please share