Morning, all. Slept in a bit, which is a rare occasion for me. Teaching college classes on Monday and Tuesday nights kicks my butt a bit, and today I’m feeling it, so there won’t be much of a post this morning. Thank you for understanding.
So, instead, here are some thoughts that are frequent flyers in my mind as I try to make sense of the educational experience.
- Prepositions matter. Assessment for Learning v. Assessment of Learning. Two tiny words that make a huge difference. I embrace “for.”
- Another prepositional perspective. A student’s view: Education is something that is done with me v. Education is something that is done to me. I hang my hat on the former.
- I can’t get rid of grades, but I can change how I use them. Of course, I mentally add “yet” every time I write the former. For the latter, I make changes every day. And while that may simply seem convenient or vacillatory, I like to think it’s responsive. And for all the critics out there, let’s remember in the absence of certainty–there is no ONE answer to grading–there must be persistence towards and pursuance of an answer. I don’t have the answers. I am just trying to find one. I suspect, then, I have thus found my purpose for the next twenty years. Chasing answers. Chasing better.
- Learning is a circle, not a line. I believe that as we cycle through life, things eventually click. And I don’t think we can force the click. That is, just because we covered it, and just because the student responded favorably on a test, does not necessarily mean she learned it. I don’t think it’s that simple. I think it’s better to say “she is learning it.” I think we have our time to do our best with our kids, and if we are lucky they may find their clicks when they are with us. And if they don’t, they eventually will, and we still will have made an impact, made a contribution to their progression. I don’t have it all sorted out, but I don’t believe that learning is immediate. I think it’s gradual, eventual. And I think that carries implications in our practice. I toss this one around all the time.
- Kids are more likely to carry the experience than the content. When I hear teacher-impact stories, it is rare, if ever, that kids speak to the effect of the content that was delivered. More often, they speak of the experience that was lived. That is what they carry. And if that’s true, I seek to give them a heavy load in that regard.
Anyway, that is my attempt at Sleepy Sy sense-making this morning. Thanks for humoring me. Back on track tomorrow.
Along today’s trail we will…
…begin with Smiles and Frowns.
…conduct a self-analysis of our descriptions.
…reflect in our Journey Journals.
…end with a Sappy Sy Ryhme.
Happy Tuesday, all.
Do. Reflect. Do Better.