School Year 2013-14. Teaching Year 17. English 10 Year 13.
A successful year of learning and teaching. A year that transformed from demoralizing mandates of pretests, benchmarks, and forced midterm exams to wiping this slate clean in favor of instruction and the student-teacher relationship. A year that saw a leader basically retire into the shadows while a beloved former leader re-emerged with gratitude, love, and healing arms.
The autumn saw several opportunities for voices to be heard at Common Core Forums. The spring brought wonderfully validating and sky-rocketing numbers of parents who opted-out students from Grades 3-8 Assessments in New York State. Then, the school year ended and summer began with serious threats to the Teacher Tenure Laws in both California and New York.
‘Tis the season of the roller coaster, right?
Let’s JAM in terms of students and families. I just experienced a year like I never have before of extremes with students and families.
Extremes of brilliance with student participation and analysis and the willingness to extend responsibility with the learning process. But, as well, extremes of apathy, disconnect, and physical and mental burdens from stress.
As a beloved leader and mentor offered at the final day of the 2013-14 school year, it is now a time of thanksgiving. Indeed. I am incredibly grateful for the learning and the giving. Our kids and our profession are continuously giving; it is quite humbling.
I do hope, additionally, we can also enjoy the summer as a time of reflection. A time of questions and discussions. This is what I would like to accomplish over the next couple of months here with this space. Will you JAM with me?
How are we going to define the following? How are they defined currently? Does your understanding differ from the more widely held views?
–College and Career Ready