5/11 #BFC530 led me to a question – why don’t we teach like it is the end of the year all year-long? We are trying to keep the attention of students, want to try out potentially more engaging practices, and are anxious to collect feedback from our students – couldn’t we just do that ALL YEAR LONG?
I think we are scared.
It is a different idea to be the one who steps out of the normal scope and sequence, the normal teacher-driven procedures of day-to-day, century-to-century teaching. We would like to be brave by supporting the first one, or two, or more who try something different, but maybe not be the ONE who does it first.
I think we conserve energy.
It says something that we do not attempt end-of-the-year teaching until the end of the course is in sight. It isn’t just about the break time, because Winter and/or Spring Break would also have a EOY quality to it. Maybe your’s does? I typically see teachers reaching for the innovate, less teacher-directed strategies when the time with students is almost up.
I think we don’t trust ourselves.
Maybe it is because this it is not how we were taught, but collectively we seem not to completely trust student-directed learning. As if only teachers could direct them to a level of understanding which could prepare them for the state mandated test.
And what would if we consider that what the test measures and learning do not always completely overlap? It seems that we know that, but don’t fully trust that instinct to provide learning opportunities instead of push students to preform on a test.
I think we could if we had a little support.
I am not sure who we are waiting on as a whole profession to tell us that it is okay to teach passionately and provide individual students room to learn what they want to learn when they want to learn it. But I do think we are closer to hearing that voice for two reasons. First Twitter is a populist movement among teachers surfacing a global voice for teachers. Unfortunately, it does not yet encompass all teachers. Second Blended Learning requires some form of technologies within the teaching and learning cycles. As Blended Learning increases more educators will join a social media (Twitter or a successor). Increased, democratized educator communication is the last leg of the journey before we hear the call to support students throughout the year in the way we really think they should be learning.