Friday, November 14, 2014

I've been doing this for the last 13 years...

I've been visiting classrooms this school year at a much higher rate than in years past. Additionally, I've really tried to speak with a student or two during each of my visits to see what's going on and to simply stay in touch with students and what's happening in regard to their learning.

On one of my most recent visits, I visited one of our HS math classrooms.

The teacher in this classroom is an experienced and well-respected teacher among the teaching ranks at the HS.

This teacher has also been around long enough to have experienced first-hand the many pendulum swings in education.

Most importantly, this teacher has been a pioneer and early-adapter of moving forward with technology integration as well as some pretty progressive and innovative teaching practices.

This teacher has been doing the flipped classroom model for about a year now.

This teacher has also been embracing BYOD and technology integration in a HS math course, which most would consider pretty difficult.

This teacher has created a blog which is used to drive the activities for the day and the week and archives resources and information on what the students are learning and how they can empower themselves to take ownership in the learning process.

This teacher has made significant shifts in grading and redo/retake structures and has committed to ensuring a grade represents what a kid actually knows... and not just how well a kid plays the game of school.

So, today, I was speaking with a group of students in this HS math class. Many of the students, if not all, were seniors as this was an upper level math course.

I asked a few questions about the structure of the course and inquired about some of the changes that have been occurring recently with this teacher and the overall structure of the class.

And then, like a punch to the gut and slap to the face, I heard it...

'I've been doing this (school) for the last 13 years, and now the teacher is changing everything on me my senior year. Can't we just do things the way we've been doing them before?'

Wow... who would have thought these words would have come out of a student's mouth.

So, the next time we think about how the adults might be affected and impacted by significant change, let's make sure we don't forget how it might affect those kids who've found success in the old ways of doing things...