Saturday, January 7, 2012


I've already missed the time of year when people compile "Year's best" lists, which is a habit I think I'll try to get into next year.  "Year's best teaching strategy (new)," "Year's best teaching strategy (improved)," "Year's best student progress," "Year's best tech integration," "Year's best collaboration," etc.  What categories would be on your "year's best" education lists?

As I think about New Years' teaching resolutions...
...would it be better to resolve to try new things...
...or to get better at the things I'm already doing (or, at least, that I know need to be done)?
Possibly a riddle for the ages.

I resolve all the usual things: to teach to the test only when the test will tell me what the students have learned.  To more actively engage parents in their students' learning.  To provide students with more useful feedback on their learning.  To use technology more effectively: not as the newest shiny thing, but as an aid to high-quality thinking.  (Although you know I'm a fan of the newest shiny thing.)

I also resolve to be less product-based in my teaching, and more process-based.  In Spanish class, that means less vocabulary, and more vocabulary strategies.  Less grammar, and more opportunities for communication.  More time spent on meaning-bearing input, less time on meaning-bearing formation, and no time on meaningless utterances.  Less reliance on textbooks.  More reliance on real things.  In English class, it means doing the Common Core standards, and doing them well.  The standards are pretty process-based, already.

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