Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Leave No Man Behind

I was fortunate this morning to start off my school day with a chapel given by a first grade class focusing on leaving no man behind. The students acted out different scenes freezing them when friends were leaving someone out, ignoring someone's need for help, showing unkind reactions to others when they won a game, etc. The frozen scene was dissected to show how that scene was leaving a man behind and how to stop and change one's actions to be a helpful, caring person. I think this chapel pertains to every day life in so many areas. As I watched it I thought how truly on target this was for those who are embracing the revolution that is going on in education, embracing the digital natives, and creating learning environments that give them skills for the future. Not every teacher is on board yet with this change in teaching. Not every teacher feels as comfortable with technology. Not every teacher feels okay with allowing the students to facilitate their learning. Not every teacher wants to leave lectures to be listened to for homework so that application of skills can be put in to practice in the classroom. Not every teacher, but there are a few who do. There are a few who, like in every evolving situation, have no fear and give it a shot. It is those teachers that have taken it upon themselves to create learning networks and professionally develop new skills to try out in their classroom. It is those teachers that I beg, please don't leave any man (teacher) behind. If you are one of those revolutionary teachers, spread the vibe, share your talents, share your lessons, listen to the frustrations with a kind ear of those who are nervous, fearful, unsure about their talents. Leave no teacher behind, because if you do you directly impact the future.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Posting Teacher's Value Added Scores

After reading, "School Matters: Giving Parents Access to Teachers Ratings: What's There to Hide" article I am very disappointed. Publishing the value added score is just another way to put down the teacher, to criticize the work that he or she does. The teacher is already being evaluated by the principal. Maybe the value added score could serve purpose by teaming up teachers who are excelling and mentor those that need improvements. Or if one must publish these scores I believe other student data should correspond. There is much more information to tell how a teacher is doing his or her job. Maybe data about how many students are tardy, complete homework, have a good night's sleep or a healthy breakfast. Information about the ages of the kids, a class may have more younger children or more immature students compared to the class down the hall. How about discipline issues or the number of inclusion students there are to serve? I do not think showing the class' value added score will do any good in this country. Our focus will turn, once again, to numbers that are not true measurements of a student nor the talent that a teacher has in teaching.