Work can be its own reward; and for this reason, we have to give students something worth the struggle of their labor. How do we nurture that work ethic? Are we providing openings for children to “dog” their own ideas – follow their curiosity and interests to a new level of knowing. As teachers, we are ethically bound to creating a classroom that is a genuine learning environment. A sacred space, that inspires creativity, and a culture that has high expectations for performance. That’s what we strive to do in life. How are we supporting children for real life? The classroom is not a bubble it should be a safe place to take risks so that when they are on their own they will be better prepared for success. Today we had a discussion with colleagues about test prepping, and that it is a “disservice to children” if we don’t give multiple choice and fill in responses ahead of test time. We strongly disagree. We believe that through an exercise like blogging children are able to make decisions and render their own interpretations whether it’s about character traits, or theme. We don’t believe that transfer happens without going through the process of discovery. Preparing students to think on higher levels begins in September – there is no quick fix for deep comprehension. At this point we are troubleshooting and tweaking our students’ performance based on their own level of developmental readiness – but always with high expectations for success.
We understand that a state test is a one time measure that is being used to evaluate us. The irony is as teachers retreat to prescribed “packets” to get kids “ready” to sit for the test – they are working at lower levels of Bloom. It requires less planning, less thought, less effort on the part of the teacher. Now is when we turn up the volume of our teaching – we are igniting the flames of curiosity not filling an empty vessel. We should all be dogging our ideas teachers and students alike – pursuing higher levels of excellence as we head out for the final stretch – our teaching will be done right until the very end.