Sunday, March 24, 2019

Concrete Results

Often what we do cannot be quantified.

Today I'm thinking about the concrete results that I can work towards--results that I can see, touch, show others.

For example, for years, I advocated for changing the furniture in the classroom. Finally my words were heard and I have wonderful butcher block tables in my room which have helped me to change the way I teach. This is a concrete result.

What other concrete results am I working for?

Material Accessibility, Use, and Care and a Welcoming Learning Environment
I'm working for a kid-friendly learning environment where students know where the material are, know how to access, care for, and use the materials freely to assist their learning in meaningful ways. I'm on the way with this goal, but there's more organization to do to make this a full reality.  I am also continually working to make the learning environment a "home away from home," and will enlist students help in that by asking them to guide our collect work towards this result.

Strong, Flexible, Confident Numeracy
I"m working to build strong, flexible number sense with children, and that will be visible when all students begin talking, working with, and problem solving with numbers fluidly and confidently. The better I design, present, and support learning experiences in this realm, the better students will achieve this goal. The visible results will be students' enthusiasm, fluidity, creativity, and problem solving with numbers with words, on paper, and via technology.

Collaborative, Creative, Systematic, and Curious Scientists
I'm working to help students learn how to work together to explore and experiment with science concepts, knowledge, and skill. Young students are scientists first so there's little need to build enthusiasm for the subject, but there is need to organize the explorations well so everyone can participate with joy, curiosity, and positive learning.

Flattened Hierarchy, Distributive Leadership, and Teacher Voice and Choice
I'm working to help build school systems that flatten hierarchy, distribute leadership, and include teacher voice and choice in all important decisions that impact students. I am speaking up about the potential that this move from factory model schools to professional learning/teaching organizations means for all members of the teaching/learning community. I also want to continue to work in this regard with colleagues. This change will be visible when we change the tight hierarchical decision making structures in schools to be more authentic, inclusive, modern age structures that find educators working deeply and authentically together to move their collective work and support for one another and students forward.

Sometimes having a meaningful, concrete result in mind as we do our work helps to motivate the work we do to get better.