Tuesday, September 30, 2014

If I Weren't Afraid

We made it!

I cannot believe tomorrow is October 1.  The first 2 months of school have flown by.

TeachThought's Reflective Teacher 30-Day Blog Challenge comes to a close.  I haven't blogged every day, but I did answer 25 out of the 30 prompts.  That's not too bad!

Today's question is, "What would you do (as a teacher) if you weren't afraid?"

If I weren't afraid, I would go completely to standards-based grading (SBG)/flipped mastery.  My grading scale would be A, B, C, and Not Yet. Percentages/number grades would not exist.

What am I afraid of?  All I know is percentage grades.  It's the way I was taught, it is the way I was taught to teach, it is the way I've always taught.  It's all my students and their parents know and understand.

I'm afraid of time.  What if a student NEVER masters a particular standard?  What if many students don't get to many of the standards (that they are tested on AND expected to know in the next course)?

I'm afraid of management.  What does a classroom where every student is potentially working on something different look like, and how does it work?  What about whole class activities?

I'm also afraid of entering this entirely new way of thinking alone.  I am not afraid of trying things by myself - right now I'm the only teacher at my school flipping lessons - but SBG would mean a whole new philosophy. I think it would be very difficult to be the only teacher doing it when every other teacher was grading the traditional way.  And when the program we are required (by the state) to use for grading only takes numbers.

I can see our system transitioning to SBG eventually.  Many of the things we have implemented over the last few years lean toward SBG. I think it will be a few years before we start to transition - and I think the transition itself would take a few years - but I think it's coming.  And I'm ready to embrace it when it does come.

But I'm afraid to take this particular leap on my own.

Thank you, TeachThought for the 30-Day Challenge, and for the thoughtful, fun prompts.

Thank you to those who have read my ramblings.  Please keep coming back for posts about my flipped classroom.

I am proud to be a part of the community of educators.

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