I recently found myself with a few minutes of leisure and wandered over to my RSS feeds where I found that one of my favorite bloggers, Lee Kolbert, had been really busy since the last time I wandered over to RSS Land. One of the articles she’d written really hit a chord, so I’m taking up her challenge, writing my thoughts, and tagging a few people to get their opinions.
Lee’s post was inspired by a tag she’d received challenging her to state what she believes. Since the spirit of this blog is all about truths, I thought it would be appropriate to follow her lead, so here goes . . .
What I Believe
I believe that education needs a complete overhaul. I’m not talking a simple change in pay scales, additional training for teachers, or new support positions being created. I’m not talking about having tiers of teaching positions so that teachers can have more opportunities for leadership roles. I’m talking about the entire education community stopping EVERYTHING, pretending like we’ve never taught before, and coming up with a NEW PLAN.
I believe that students deserve to enjoy their education. I believe that teachers deserve to enjoy teaching.
I believe that standardized tests set students (and teachers who have high stakes in them) up to fail.
I believe that if I teach science the way I really want to teach science, instead of teaching to a standardized test, my students will learn and retain far more knowledge than if I “drill ’em and kill ’em.”
I believe it is more important for a student to get excited about a content area than for them to memorize information that can be easily found in a journal, dictionary, or manual.
I believe “assessment” can be a dirty word.
I believe educators who focus on the words rigor and relevance or scope and sequence instead of focusing on what they MEAN to a student have missed the boat.
I believe there is such a thing as too much technology in the classroom. Having students complete an assignment involving technology for the sake of technology is wasted time. Using technology as an integrated tool to expand a student’s knowledge is imperative.
I believe teachers should focus on what they know, intuitively, to be the “right” way to teach. Most of us become educators because we have an amount of natural talent in the area of imparting knowledge on others. If we let ourselves be herded into the cookie-cutter “ideal” that our principal or district thinks is the way to go, then we have eliminated our usefulness.
I believe teachers like STAR Discovery Educator, Diana Laufenberg, who instills in her students a true love of nature and thus, the science and history behind it, do more on one weekend field trip to impact their students’ success than many other teachers manage in a full school year.
I believe that it is okay to hug a student who needs to know someone cares.
Okay, I’m realizing that I could go on and on, so I’ll stop and let YOU comment here with what you believe – or post to your own blog and tag this one. I’m also going to think about who to tag, so be warned!