Monday, November 17, 2014

Off the Clock

When I walked out of school today, it was already dark.  That's not so unusual, but what is it that keeps teachers at school so late?  Today I was working with a Math Coach ( actually she's the AP- we don't have a Math Coach - but she knows more than any Math Coach I've ever worked with!) and two other teachers, writing new Math Unit Assessments.  With new standards and new state assessments, and a new Math computer program, come the need for new aligned assessments.  No one is doing this work for us.  So, if we want our first graders to get the foundation they need to be ready for the rigor of more complex math, it has to start with us.  We can't wait a few years, until children have failed, to start asking why are they failing.  We need to scaffold instruction now so that never happens.  This is not work that can wait.

I am so fortunate to be in a school where there is a cohort of teachers who don't mind doing this work... and it is "work."  There is nothing easy about it.  It takes time and lots of that time is off the clock.  But the benefit... the benefit is why we are hashing out what the big ideas are in the next math unit and what the question stems should look like if they are to be aligned with the new FSA specs, and the new Math computer program language (i-Ready).  We are all learning from each other. It makes us think about different ways to reach children and different strategies for teaching.  And... the bottom line is... I will do a better job of teaching because I have spent this time working through this unit.

Now if someone was just interested in paying me for all this extra time...

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

This is the most rewarding work I know. It's grueling at times and requires long additional hours but when we grapple to make sense of it, we construct a higher level of knowledge about the process and the product. I am so blessed to work with such a passionate, dedicated team of self-directed learners!