Here are a few things I have been thinking about. These are snippets of thought that I will obviously come back to:
I am concerned about testing. There seems to be greater scrutiny and it is permeating every facet of teacher/administration discussions, curriculum decisions, and headlines. I cannot understand why equal attention os not given to the negatives we know about from testing as well as the factors that are outside of a school's control.
If we are supposed to aim high, then what about this?:
Quote from David Campbell here.
Achievement tests may well be valuable indicators of general school achievement under conditions of normal teaching aimed at general competence. But when test scores become the goal of the teaching process, they both lose their value as indicators of educational status and distort the educational process in undesirable ways. (Similar biases of course surround the use of objective tests in courses or as entrance examinations.)
Real change is not going to happen in schools. It is an organization that thrives a certain way. Innovation will happen from the outside and with those who get tired of the system.
From Steve Jobs:
Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.
Much of what is going on in the world has me worried (okay, it is really not the world, it is here in our country.) There is a lack of empathy for another's story or position. The lack of use of facts, the inability to look at facts and perhaps learn something, and the refusal to see another viewpoint or suffering is disturbing. Ben Grey had a post that started me thinking.
There is a fine line here, but if we want students to be life long learners and remove codependence on others being responsible for their learning, do we do a really good job of modeling it for them? (Really, we were not taught that way either. Critical thinking is tough enough to do, let alone to teach.) Here is a thought provoking post.
This year will be a lesson in patience. Our school district is consolidating and such a move disrupts what we are used to. I always think change is good and can find many positives to the changes we have. The 6 day cycle creates extra time for teachers though it is not always apparent. Many teachers are used to more time at the end of their day. We have a study hall to monitor. Sometimes study halls require more attention and they are not always free time but for the most part it is time to work. Homeroom at the end of the day needs more attention to manage than earlier in the day (personally, I would like to see that go but at least it is only 4 days out of 6.) I feel I have more time. Having one less prep makes it easier too.
This is basically a smattering of my thoughts from the past few months. They may not make sense, but are topics I will return to again. That is the beauty of using a blog.