Friday, September 27, 2013

It's not teaching if there's no learning...

I've personally said it before and it's a common statement made in schools around the world.

'I taught it... it's not my fault they didn't learn it.'

Far too often we allow the focus to be on what we as the educators did or what we didn't do, when in fact the focus needs to be on what our students did or what they didn't do.

We can have the most wonderfully planned lesson in the world with varying degrees of differentiation, plenty of opportunities for global collaboration, autonomy and flexibility in how to demonstrate student understanding, and a healthy dose of technology integration, but if the students aren't able to accomplish or demonstrate any level of learning or understanding, then our lesson frankly was not a success.

Sure, we can say the students didn't work as hard as they should have or that they didn't listen to the instructions carefully enough.

Sure, we can say that the students had a bad attitude and weren't even willing to try before giving up.

Sure, we can say the previous years teachers didn't teach the kids enough and didn't prepare them for this year.

Let's take a step in the right direction by assuming responsibility and accountability for what happens in our classrooms and in our schools.

Yes, are there things we can't control and factors that make our jobs more difficult than what they could or should be, absolutely there are, but let's not allow those excuses to get in the way of doing something great.

Stop thinking about how great of a lesson you planned and presented and start thinking about the great things your students did and were able to do as a result of your lesson...