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Monday, March 23, 2009

So if Teachers Wont "Read It" What are We doing with Kids!



Over on the Left Lane Ends, where Jerram Froese blogs, I was struck by this statement:

"We’re doing some great curriculum work with McRel over the course of this year and today’s focus is on developing a good unit overview and how assessment should be woven into the published curriculum. I’ve posted it before, spewed it to friends and commented in more meetings that I care to remember about how we ought to treat teachers, educators as professionals. After reading a ‘model overview’ (about probability) that was VERY well worded, we were invited to comment. My thoughts? [in my head: 'wow, this is a NICE overview. It actually has the 'why' built into it and makes real world connections. this would really get my brain going if I was teaching probability.']
I guess others had different thoughts in their head. The first vocal comment was, ‘This is too long. Teachers won’t read it.’"

He goes on to say that teachers are so focused on test prep that they don't have time to do anything else.

My own children have testing upon them.  It is not something we think about all year, but right now I'm making extra sure that they sleep well, eat well in the mornings and just that they do their best.  I do look at the tests and yet, it is NOT the only thing.

You see, I have two kids with LD and when we "found" these issues, my boys had a profound drop in their test scores that year.  It scared me.  I will not share what those were, but I will say that one of my boys jumped 80 PERCENTILE POINTS in one year after proper diagnosis and accommodation.  80 POINTS.

My concern is that test scores are a measurement but not a diagnosis of the worth of a child nor their future.

Also, I'm sitting here thinking about how teachers complain how children won't read important things, and here, I'm hearing that a teacher won't read something that is important to the teacher.

And this is a personal pet peeve of mine:

I will not ask of my students that which I will not do myself.

  • If we don't want to sit in a 10 hour session with someone lecturing to us about project based learning -- neither should we turn around and lecture to our kids hour after hour.

  • If we want engaging training and MEANING in what we do for professional development, we should do the same in our classrooms.

  • If we want kids to read things and be inquisitive - we should do the same.  When is the last time you took a new idea to the curriculum director.

  • We want our students to have a positive attitude about things they don't want to do - will teachers have a positive attitude about doing things they don't like?

Likewise -- the same with administration:

Model the behavior you wish to see in teachers.  If you want them working from early morning until late -- do the same yourself.

If you want them to be there on time -- be there on time yourself.

Students want geniuineness -- and so do teachers.


We all must be professionals.  Oh, boy, I wish I was as perfect as Mrs. Adkins or Mrs. Caldwell or Mrs. Dean at my school -- they seem to do no wrong.  But one thing that makes them all so great is that in their 30 + years of teaching a piece that they never stop learning, they always push to do more, and they are, above all things professionals.  I love them dearly and want to be more like them.


Something about this post resonates with me.  Guess I'm just talking to myself again.
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