Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ready For A Change

In June 2009, my principal suggested to me that I attend a Marzano/Pickering conference in September.  I didn't have a clue who they were, but I didn't tell her that!  I didn't really want to go, until she said it would be a night away from my kids.  At that time they were 1 and 4 and I wasn't getting any sleep!  She sold me!  I was going.  It was one of the best decisions of my teaching career.

I went and sat there and listened to Dr. Robert Marzano speak about formative assessment and standards based grading.  I saw the data on what research showed to be effective and ineffective.  Sadly I realized that many of the ineffective strategies were things I was doing.  He inspired me to make some changes.  I must have been at a point in my career where I was ready for a change.  I thought I was going to make a simple change.  I enlisted the help of our division math consultant to create a visual chart of the student's progress in each outcome.  The research showed that this strategy would help to improve student learning.  I thought it would be a simple process.  Boy was I wrong!  We soon discovered that it was a lot harder to show progress on a scale out of 4, when everything I was doing was based out of 100%!   Thus this lead me to one of the most difficult, but enjoyable years of my teaching career!  The learning curve for me this year was not a curve, but pretty much a vertical climb!  However it was a very rewarding climb.  It took us half a year of many bad rubrics to finally get to a place where we could develop a general math rubric to guide all of the specific outcome rubrics.  A few more math teachers jumped on board and through collaboration we became more comfortable with creating rubrics and assessing outcomes using a scale instead of 100%.  We were on our way...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Why I am blogging

I have been thinking about blogging about education for a few months now.  I blog about my kids, so why not about my job.  My job is not what it used to be.  The teaching profession and education system have been changing since I started.  There are a lot of misconceptions about what is going on and I wanted to share everything that I love about my job and the education system.  I want to be able to explain why the system is changing and why I believe it to be a good thing.  I want to share the wonderful stories from my classroom and share the successes that I see on a daily basis.  I want everyone to know that I see students LEARNING on a daily basis and I love it!  

I AM a teacher.  This is MY journey.