This article is crossposted on Teachers Going Gradeless and ASCD Student Growth Center. In our dream we have limitless resources, and the people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hand. The present educational conventions fade from our minds; and, unhampered by tradition, we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive rural … Continue reading From Hostility to Community
My greatest shame as a teacher stems from my past grading practices. At the time, I was certain it was my role to protect perfection. I believed it would drive students to go beyond their current ability and seek ways to express themselves more effectively. I had it in my mind that rigor meant setting … Continue reading Changing the Guard
As school begins to wind down, my wife and I, like many parents, scramble to figure out how to keep our boys engaged in learning rather than allow them to zone out in front of screens all day. Granted, our boys will more than likely spend an exorbitant amount of time gazing into the mesmerizing, … Continue reading Passion Projects: Engage Your Child This Summer
When I was eight years old, Pink Floyd released The Wall. My dad purchased the album and I was mesmerized by the composition, beauty, and sophistication of their sound. On top of that, the irreverent lyrics were, ultimately, what spoke to me. "We don't need no education, We don't need no thought control" (Pink Floyd, … Continue reading An Education in Rebellion
A teacher catches a student plagiarizing a major essay. An initial reaction is often, "How could he do this to me?" The teacher may feel violated and even want retribution. In an attempt to seek justice, she gives her student a zero and a referral. All too often, this is the default response to cheating. … Continue reading What About Cheating?
I had a conversation with a math teacher at my school. I asked her if she allowed her learners to use notes or tools on her tests. She said, “Absolutely not.” I asked why. She said if they learned the material they shouldn’t need notes. I asked if memorization or application demonstrated learning. She said […]
I've heard teachers debate whether learners should be allowed to redo, retake, or revise summative assessments. The camp is highly divided. No Retakes There are those who say that learners need to be held accountable. If they do not take the time to study for the assessment then it is apparent that the student does … Continue reading What about retakes?
As a parent of two boys on the Autism Spectrum and a high school teacher, I have the pleasure of sitting on both sides of the table in numerous Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings. Some have been productive while others were frustrating and unbearable. Despite my perspective of the outcome, it is the child who … Continue reading A parent/teacher’s guide to an IEP
Should teachers use a traditional A B C D F system or a standards based 1 2 3 4 to report learning and growth to stakeholders? I say both are inadequate systems. Traditional Grades Traditional grading provides letters to the accumulation of points students earn throughout a term. It takes into account all work, including … Continue reading If I could change grades
Recently, I had a disheartening conversation with a colleague. The topic was: To what degree do you enjoy working with at-risk/challenging students? His answer really shook me up. He said, "I don't." Then he changed it to, "I do when I can see that I am making an impact but not when my efforts are … Continue reading Thank you, Mr. Stroud