Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone

Monday, January 11, 2010

I'm Picking Up, What You're Putting Down

For all my teacher friends out there! Read and smile 'cause you know, don't you?

The End of the D and F Grade: Welcome to Lake Wobegon by Alan Haskvitz

It's nice to know that sometimes you aren't alone in your thoughts.

4 Thinks and Thoughts of Others:

Ricardo M. said...

I rarely have top level grades in my class because I don't lower the bar so kids can meet them. Kids and parents are taken off guard when they receive lower grades in my class because they were so used to getting the highest level possible in the previous grades. However, all it takes is a simple conversation to straighten things out. There are two things that I can tell the parents and students:

1) The mark that was given was not a reflection of what the student was 'capable' of doing, only what he or she was 'willing' to do.

2) I use the curriculum exemplars to compare the student work with what is expected for various levels of acheivement.

Both of these always result in both parent and student seeing that my assessment is accurate. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings but I tell them, "...if I'm not honest, then you'll always think you're better than you are. If you already think that your're doing well, where is the incentive to continue to learn and grow?"

I cringe when I see that my fellow colleagues have given grades that I know they can't support. They just want to avoid confrontation with the student, the parent, and the administration. It's a real shame.

English Teacher said...

Ricardo: I agree with what you are saying here and I feel that the longer I teach the more comfortable I become with using levels to do my marking and being able to support the grades earned (not given!) by students. Most of mine could probably teach others about the difference between a 1, 2, 3, 4 we discuss it so often! I even created my own poster set last year using a basketball analogy, I found the ice cream ones too young for my 8's.

Ricardo M. said...

Do you have a copy of your poster? Would love to see it.

English Teacher said...

Ricardo: Send me your email and I will email you a copy.

Last Words...

Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe