So I thought I’d provide a bit more context to explain this idea.
My journey into assessment and changing the narrative has been going on for over a decade. Specifically dealing with the question, “Who owns the assessment?” It shouldn’t be about what satisfies me but what aids the learner in getting the most from the experience.
For the most part, we’ve over complicated assessment. Our data-obsessed world and education system continues to look for silver bullets, accountability, and/or justification of our practices. More tools mean more ways to try and measure learning. My mantra remains:
You might not be able to measure learning, but you can document it.
So assessment and evaluation remain elements of my teaching that I’m always tweaking and ultimately empowering the learners as much as possible. It’s why they … Read the rest
When I published my first blog post over ten years ago, it was clear to me that the possibility to share and share online, had the potential for something special. This new-found ability to share at a global level has provided teachers access to content and ideas never before available and connected teachers to people who have helped to transform classrooms around the world.
I created this video five years ago that remains an important part of my philosophy and message.
Ever since I began teaching over 25 years ago, I’ve had many conversations with teachers about their reluctantly to share for fear they might be seen as braggarts. One of the benefits of sharing online was it allowed teachers working in toxic or distrustful environments to share and not worry what the colleague across the hall might think. In many ways, it was and remains a revolution that has reinvigorated many careers. Even teachers in good environments found a way to expand their networks and discover new ideas to improve learning. Online spaces like blogs and social media have been platforms for people to post ideas, lessons, tutorials and other successes.
There are some people that inspire me and some people that make me think. Sometimes they are the same person. Sometimes they aren’t. I see the act of inspiring people different from being insightful.
People that inspire me are those who display extraordinary determination or will to overcome challenges. Sometimes they are people who have shown a consistent character over time.
My Dad inspires me. He’s been an example to me for my whole life. His legacy speaks for itself. His faith and approach to life are honorable, to say the least.
My wife inspires me. She’s not only a fantastic mother and wife and educator but knowing some of her recent health challenges, makes what does even more impressive.
Lance Rougeux inspires me. I’ve worked for Lance for 5 years. He’s the best leader I’ve ever seen. He constantly filters out the things that don’t concern his team. He’s never too busy for anyone and is the first to share gratitude. His goal is to make everyone’s job easier. He’s had to deal a lot but never complains.
People I find insightful are those that are typically well read and also are … Read the rest
Think about that one for a while. Your answer will say a lot about what you really believe about learning and education.
I know many would respond with some form or empowering students to make those decisions. In general, this is a good sign, indicating an important shift in what teachers are attempting to do today. However, as much as I personally believe this is a much-needed change, I continue to caution teachers not to abdicate their own responsibility to be a wise and caring adult that at times directs the learning.
Like parenting, schools should be a gradual release of responsibility. The don’t know what they don’t know our experience and understanding of the world, needs to be valued and even shared explicitly at times. I often share with teachers about the move from sage on the stage to guide on the side but always refer to a third position which Erica McWilliams calls “meddler in the middle“. Whenever I share this I’m careful to suggest that this is not a … Read the rest
Being a good citizen today is exhausting. Being a good American citizen is a whole other level of exhaustion. Everyone around the world has been hit by the #$I*% storm that is American politics. Every news site and media outlet are dedicated to covering every aspect of the new presidency. If you consume media, even entertainment, it’s very hard to avoid it.
After the last several months using Facebook, in particular, I just got overwhelmed. The concept of “you are what you eat” flooded my consciousness. Facebook’s awful filtering and algorithms are worse for your brain than a Chuck E. Cheese pizza. I was feeling bloated and queasy. Almost everyone was sharing their opinions coupled with some reference to another story that was written to foster controversy at best, hate at worst. I just had enough. Scrolling through various news channels in my hotel room one night, I had come to the same conclusion. I just needed a break. I wondered, is it possible to be over informed?
As someone who advocates for and presents often on the value of citizenship, this might seem somewhat incongruent. I do a number of presentations designed to help teachers help their students navigate … Read the rest