Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Working in the Box: Finding the Potential

I've been frustrated by new parameters. They feel like a too tight box. Yet I'm committed to staying in that box until given the freedom to move out for multiple personal reasons--reasons I've given a lot of thought too. So how can I maximize teaching in the box--what can I do?

First, it's important to know the box parameters which include the following:
  • about 4 weeks time
  • two period-long assessment
  • about 18 teaching hours
  • about 10 teaching objectives
Next, the question: How can you creatively and responsively teach with the parameters in mind?
  1. Assess to see who has already mastered the goals. 
  2. Teach the goals not mastered in differentiated and scaffolded ways
  3. Assess upon mastery
  4. Enrich with additional time
  5. Use creative, meaningful, collaborative project based learning for the enrichment phase
And, what does that timeline look like?
  1. Testing today
  2. Plan the mastery/enrichment path
  3. Embed the path into the teaching/learning program
As I think through this issue, I'm thinking about how the new expectations could have evolved, it could have been something like this:
  • A: We want you to meet these parameters.
  • M: Feels like a box.
  • A: How can you meet the parameters and still have the freedom to teach creatively and responsively?
  • M: I can't imagine a way.
  • A: Let's start with identifying the parameters--here's what you have to do . . . ., now let's look for the potential in those parameters, how can those parameters meet the advantage of a creative and responsive program.
  • M: I see, we can actually use the parameters as the guidelines for the learning design--umm. . . 
  • A: Let's think together about how we can make the best of both worlds--some guidelines and creativity/response too. 
This is a script that would match advantageous coaching--coaching that seeks to empower educators and learners while also connecting the community in advantageous ways. 

Wish I had thought of this a few months ago.