Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Cat, The Bag and Teaching




It is OVER.

Finito. Done.

The classroom has transformed. Education has transformed. There is no going back. Michael J. Fox in a DeLorean could not reach it no matter if the Flux Capacitor has 1.21 jigawatts of power.

It is no longer OK to say... "today we will do worksheet 3.2 from the workbook, write definitions for chapter 3 and turn it in by the end of class... if you don't complete it, it will become homework."

What kind of authentic learning experience is that?

K-12 education is finally seeing a transformation. Educators are connecting, becoming lifelong learners themselves. We are finally beginning to get the picture. Learning is not a worksheet. Learning is doing something, messing up and having the guts to go back and fix it. Learning is messy. Learning is failure. Learning is the realization that I must change, modify or completely scrap what I previously thought in order to achieve my goal.

Teaching is the ability to facilitate the failure in order to bring about a better outcome. Teaching is providing a second chance to make it better, directing a student to perform in a different manner, NOT marking a red X on a worksheet.

If this is the way a classroom should operate, then PARCC, SmarterBalanced or any other state mandated test will be destroyed by awesome students that can actually think. If we let it go and know that the old way is over, then when our students get to the performance they will have the experience of perseverance and the ability to take any test thrown at them.

Your Flux Capacitor is broken, there are no more time machines... the starting line is NOW.