And then, on the horizon, we beheld mountains.
Heading into unfamiliar territory this week. Time to take a turn along a path with more ups than downs. And while I do hold a map with some roughed-out directions, it inspires little confidence in the possibility of finding an efficient route. So, it is at times like these that I cling to my mantra: Do. Learn. Do Better.
This Friday marks the midway point for the first semester. And beyond the fact that I still can’t believe that much time has passed already, the map I hold indicates that I pledged to provide a progress report at this time, a report created in collaboration with each individual as to his/her progress at this point in the journey, a pledge I aim to honor. The desire to do it is not the problem. In fact, I am excited to venture forth along this path. The problem rests in how to do it. How am I going to collaborate with 89 kids over the next week to capture the essence of their growth, and still move us forward in our journey? We cannot simply pause. Winter is coming, snow has already dusted the higher peaks, and we have to get through the passes, to pause is to perish. With no desire to perish in the mountains, I have a plan to get us through. And while it may very well not be the most efficient route in the end, I will chart our way, hoping to make the trek easier next time. Here is the plan.
- I have already adapted the learning logs to create a collaborative approach between each kid and me.
- My initial plan was to meet with each kid, completing the report side-by-side. But I fear that this may not be feasible, taking too much time. So, I will pre-complete, my part of the form this week while the kids are working. I will have them done by the end of day Thursday. Then, on Friday, during class, I will have the kids complete their parts, and I will recollect them when they finish.
- Then, next week, we will take the “pre-completed” reports and compare our responses, face-to-face.
- Some responses will likely be left blank by me until I have the opportunity to speak to the kiddo. I know my kids pretty well, but there are some things for which I may have insufficient knowledge (especially the profile items), so I will wait on those items until I have their input.
- As far as where are responses differ and our perceptions don’t match up, we will seek to find a middle ground, each supporting his or her position. The key here is collaboration. I am not trying to “get” the kids. I am simply sharing what I see, and what I see may be inaccurate, so I welcome points of disagreement as entry points into conversations about progress and perception. This step will take most, if not all, of the second week. even though official midterm grades are due sooner.
- And it is here that I am fortunate. The “grades” are done. They are in Skyward, and they will be sent home. But the progress/growth reports will still be in the works. They will take time. And with 180, I have the freedom to give myself permission to take the necessary time, time to create that which I hope the kids, parents, and I all find value in at the end.
- The co-completed reports will then go home for parents to sign and return.
And that’s the plan. Two weeks to get through our first set of mountains. Hope it’s enough. I am eager to get underway with this part of the project. I will no doubt learn a lot from this process, but I love to learn. I will share some anonymous, completed reports at the end so you can see what they look like.
Have a magnificent Monday, all.