I have been mulling over this post for a week or so and today I saw a tweet that helped clarify my thoughts.
Over the past several months I have read: The Innovator’s Mindset, Kids Deserve It, Teach Like A Pirate, Learn Like A Pirate, and Ditch That Textbook to name a few. Currently, I am reading, Renegade Leadership and participating in a book study with several staff members at school. All these books affirm what I believe education should be and I find myself highlighting, quoting and tweeting these thoughts to inspire others.
I follow hashtags (#RenLead, #nced, #wonderwake, #kidsdeserveit, #tlap, #21stedchat, #innovationmindset, #TEDEdChat to name a few) that push my thinking. I like, retweet and share these ideas with my PLN.
My point being, I surround myself with innovative people and ideas. And I can’t help but echo Bill’s thoughts… we keep talking about it! Transformation is happening in pockets but we need a revolution, a movement! We need to do what is best for the kids in front of us today, right now!
But whose responsibility is it? As teachers, what power do we have? The standards are mandated. Student success, and teacher success for that matter, is measured by EOG/EOC tests at the end of instruction. How do you measure innovation, life skills, curiosity and passion for learning? How do measure WCPSS’ mission: provide a relevant and engaging education and graduate students who are collaborative, creative, effective communicators and critical thinkers.
And while I don’t have the answers I have hope. Which brings me to this quote:
So my challenge is this: do what YOU can, where YOU are, today.
Yes, the standards are mandated but how you bring it to life for your students is your choice.
Yes, the standards are mandated but how you let student choice and voice shine are up to you.
Yes, the standards are mandated but how you make it relevant to your students is up to you.
Yes, the standards are mandated and you can let that paralyze you or you can rise to the challenge.
I know what you are thinking – but what about those pesky tests? Assessments are and will continue to be an important part of education so assess in relevant ways that show growth and relevance to kids…Build student portfolios, build your students’ digital footprints, connect them with their community, teach them about reflection through videos and blogs, share their learning on Twitter, Instagram, etc.
Maybe the EOG/EOC scores will match your efforts and maybe they won’t but whatever you do…don’t give up hope!