Mar 28, 2011

What We Can Do vs. What We Do Do

We are ready.

I can feel it in the classroom when I give my students choice, when I centre the learning and the students.  They are ready.

And yet…

There seems to be a big challenge between what we can do to help students learn (the research, the information, the tools) and the reality of what we do do.

We can set up classrooms that are connected.  Invite the world into our classrooms, build in authentic audiences and tasks.  Ensure problem solving skills are honed by using real world problems.  We can get computers in each classroom, with cheap netbooks or even desktops.  We can get them talking with each other, building a school that ensures each student is positively building their digital footprint.

And yet…

We can ensure that each teacher has adequate professional development.  We can encourage and give time for teachers to get together and truly collaborate. Have them build of the talents and thoughts of colleagues both locally and globally. We can re-build the profession to one of nobility, one where we do not accept mediocrity amongst our ranks.

And yet…

We can maintain academic rigour, without undermining learning to a series of tests and numbers.  We can rid the system of quantitative inaccuracies.  Stop belittling the integrity of the learning our students do by enforcing numerical end points and instead build the responsibility for evaluation onto both students and teachers working and discussing together.

And yet…

We can provide parents with better feedback, better information and better connections. We can stop allowing report cards and discipline to be the connective tissue we offer to parents.  Instead, we open the classroom door, invite them and their expertise to help teach their children.  We can create a community of learning, changing parents’ focus away from marks and onto the authentic learning and thinking that is required of our citizenry.

And yet…

I don’t do it all, the way we can.  I know that.

But little by little, we need to be pushing harder to ensure we do what we can for our students and not rest on what we do.

2 Comments

  • Hi Scott!
    I am a student in Dr.Strange’s EDM310 class and was assigned your blog to comment on. This post in particular stuck out to me. I agree that we as teachers should learn to focus more on the learning process and not just grades assigned. In order to provide the best education possible we also need to be continuous learners as well.
    I enjoyed reading your post!
    Alana

    • Alana,
      Thanks for the comment.
      Avoiding the numbers is tough. It is easy to motivate and intimidate using the numbers, but when you reflect on why we are here, it is incredibly clear that it doesn’t help in any way. The way I learn is not the best way to learn, it is just best for me.
      Thanks for reading and commenting. Good luck!
      Cheers,
      Scott

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