It seems to me that everything is changing on the education front in Saskatchewan right now! I am a relative newcomer to the province, but I have never before experienced so many educational changes at one time. My mind is constantly spinning with all of the new ideas and the things I want to implement and change. I am sure that I drive my staff crazy sometimes because I am always talking about the things that I learn in ECI 831, the many things that I am always finding on the net and the things that I am reading. I am beginning to wonder if they are starting to run and hide when they see me coming down the hall.
At our last staff meeting I showed them the video- “Shift Happens“. Just one of many videos at youtube presenting relatively the same idea-we better wake up and realize that change is happening faster than we can even anticipate and our teaching strategies need to reflect that. Next time I plan to show the video “42” so we can have a discussion about alternative forms for student audience. I really liked Starkg’s comment to my last post “So many tools…so little time?, suggesting that we could have a Best of… site to showcase some of our students fantastic work. There are so many opportunites for students to publish their work and open up their ideas to others. Gone are the days when I expected my English students to write for an imaginary audience that could not be me, but in reality that imaginary audience would never see their writing and I would be the only one reading it.
For those of you that read my last post, “So many tools, so little time?” you could tell I was very excited about the changes in assessment practices. I like the whole idea of assessment for learning rather than assessment of learning. As our division moves forward with Ken O’Conner’s, “15 fixes for Broken Grades, it will be interesting to see the movement from traditional grading practices to grading practices that reflect assessment for learning and outcome based learning. I am a constructivist by heart, so it all works for me. It can still be a difficult transition for everyone and as I sat listening to parents talk at our SCC meeting last night I could see that parents were struggling with the “shift” as much as we were. I was trying to explain that it was a huge change for us too to move from information feeders to learning facilitators. As Jeffg stated in his comments to “So many tools…so little time?” he was struggling to find some different assessment practices that worked for him and I really agree that we need to keep looking and helping each other make the shift. We all need to be in the process together. I would like to be able to go back in time and change some of my past students grades to reflect fair grading processes.
One thing is for sure, we are all in this shift together and the amount of support available is astounding. Thanks for the support in my new projects and I hope that Ican do the same for you. Catch you on the back channel!