This year has been something
New teaching assignments
Changes in assignments part way through
Making it up as we go along
Loss after loss after loss
I try to focus on work, on my students but my goodness the noise. It is all a lot.
The good thing though is I really do love to dream of possibilities and anchor it in the excellence of my students. The good thing is that I have so many amazing mentors that I can learn from. So despite the noise the work continues. Somedays are hits and others are misses. One thing that remains we are learning.
It seems some folks are obsessed with "learning loss", a made up term so that companies can take advantage of teachers already feeling inadequate. See, the world as we know it changed with Covid but some folks are so unwilling to reimagine education that they will create false terms to sell more test prep booklets.
Teachers for the last year have been judging themselves and their students with the metrics of the past when we need to be looking at the possibilities of the future. Reimagining education is not just a game of wishful thinking. It takes work and time. Results will not be immediate. Another piece of my life is spent lifting heavy things, I have always struggled with the eating portion of living a healthy lifestyle. Candy is a comfort food, I often will go on these fad diets to try and lose weight but when I don't reverse years of damage in days or weeks I give up. This is how I am looking at education right now. Change takes time. Changing systems that have been in place for a hundred years can't be change in one. But we sure as heck can start to work on it. "Learning Loss" is an attempt to interrupt progress and shift our focus off students and back to systems. Resist the urge. Push forward and honour your students excellence.
We have seven weeks of school left in the year that I thought would never end. We have tried new things we have had successes and for sure some fails but learning is happening.
Next Week we are starting Project Speak, my favourite creation of the last few years. Students will be exploring topics that they are passionate about, researching, writing and sharing. Student written and performed Ted Talks will be the culmination of our work. Every year I have dreamed about a HUGE gala to share the students work. The first year my own self doubts got in the way. Year 2 and 3 (likely) Covid cancelled or opportunity to perform but not share our brilliance. I am excited for this just like I was the first year. Nervous still but so excited.
Then comes the Patchwork, my favourite little learning experience. 4 different course levels in one class. Trying to hold ourselves together with tape. We are going to have a uniquely patchwork year end assessment. A multi-genre exploration of text and writing. We are still in the planning stages right now but it will be sorted out by Monday. It will be focused around a choice text with choice response options. Piecing together the different things we have explored as we learn together in a unique environement.
This year has been heavy on the challenges. Every day some new wrench is thrown into the works. We have lost a lot, but learning is not on the list.
Student Excellence Despite the hurdles Always there Just Look Harder