Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Thinking About the Learner

I took a close look at another collection of school year scores this morning and that analysis brought me back to my central focus as an educator: the learner.

It is the day-in, day-out action that matters when it comes to learners, the ability to streamline routines, schedules and curriculum so that most of the teaching day is spent on targeted, responsive efforts that activate optimal learning of essential skills and practices.

At fourth grade, what's essential includes reading/writing fluency, skill and interest, mathematical thinking and practice, and a broad base of meaningful, engaging events that build knowledge, concept and skill across all content areas. I'd really like to add scientific process, fluency and skill as a main target too but my time and effort is already maximized as I aim to meet the current goals.  I expect that it won't be long before classrooms are replaced by menus of classes, pods, studies and one-to-one tutors so that  educators can focus on reasonable planning/content responsibilities with regard to successful student response and teaching strategies.

Today as I partake in the MTA Summer Unconference event, the learner will be my focus. What can I do to deepen and broaden my effect on student learning?  How will I establish and manage a process to effect professional growth in that area?