Tuesday, December 17, 2013

20 thoughts on teaching and learning...

1). If you allow re-do's & retakes for full credit, extra credit becomes obsolete & irrelevant...

2). An 'F' at the top of the paper means the kid is off the hook; an 'NTY' on the top means 'not there yet.'

3). How did you learn to teach & be an educator? You probably had some re-do's & retakes... why can't we allow this for kids in school?

4). A kid who says 'school sucks and just give me an F' should not be in charge of his/her educational decisions.

5). A D is a coward's F. The student failed, but you didn't have enough guts to tell him.

6). If you trust the validity of your test/assessment, you shouldn't have any problem with re-do's for full credit.

7). We have got to stop using grades & assessments as a 'so-called' motivator; we are destroying any true love of learning.

8). Kids can learn without grades... but they can't learn without descriptive feedback.

9). Sometimes being 'kind' is more important than being 'right.' When a kid needs 'kind,' give them kind... not right.

10). Next time a kid says the wrong answer, ask them to 'tell you more about it.' They will work through their error & not get defensive.

11). Knowing what you are learning is important; knowing where you are in relation to what you are learning is more important.

12). How quickly do you throw a life preserver when a student struggles? Don't let your impatience get in the way of allowing kids to struggle.

13). If we only give students 'pre-filtered' websites, then how in the world will they ever learn how to navigate the web?

14). Watching other teachers teach is hugely valuable. When observing, you think about your classroom, which causes self-reflection.

15). We need to focus on better ways of 'priming' students' brains before asking questions before any learning experience.

16). Please, let's stop taking kids out of P.E. and fine arts classes so they can double up on math or reading remediation classes.

17). Adjust the master schedule to support best practices; don't sacrifice best practices to support the master schedule.

18). Stop asking teachers to turn in their lesson plans to show their 'expertise.' Expertise can't be found in a lesson plan.

19). When teachers create 'curiosity' in their classrooms, kids start to wonder... when they wonder, they want to learn.

20). Teaching is not adversarial... it's not about 'getting' them before they 'get' you. It's us and we.

**I want to give credit to Rick Wormeli (@rickwormeli) for these thoughts and comments above. I was fortunate to attend a recent event in which he engaged the entire audience and shared many thought-provoking comments. If you ever get the opportunity to see Rick Wormeli, I highly recommend doing so.