Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Day 12: How do you envision your teaching changing over the next five years?

This question has had me thinking and writing for days. The first day I took the glass-half-empty approach. After 10 minutes I had pages in my notebook railing against NCLB to RTTT, APPR to CCSS, King to Cuomo on to high stakes testing and the decimation of school budgets. I imagined how the effects of all these deforms (yes 'de' not 're') are pushing us further back in time. All of the progress we have made in education over the past 30 years is slipping through our fingers. I imagined all of these data-driven decisions leading us back to tracked classes and teaching at Farnsworth Junior High because our middle school philosophy had been eroded over time.

Then I took a deep breath. I downshifted  into trying a glass-half-full perspective. I imagined those who are speaking up and fighting back actually making progress and turning the tide. I see the focus returning to preparing our students to be better citizens and worthwhile human beings and not simply college and career ready. I envisioned allowing students to be co-collaborators in creating curriculum that is designed to allow them to follow their  passions and pursue their curiosity about the world.  I hope we will be tasking them with improving themselves and our world.

And tonight, I realized something else about the next five years. As I drove home with my husband from our daughters' elementary school's open house, I realized that in five years both my daughters will be with me at the middle school (in my class if you ask them today). This realization made me take another deep breath and hold tight to that glass being half full...for them.

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