Knowing vs. Implementing ?

When Google searching "Knowing vs. Implementing Content" the top results include many educational state webpages associated with standards and students and a handful of pages associated with implementing evidence based nursing practices.

What strikes me as odd about theses sites is not one talks about an issue pressing education behind every classroom door. What is really going on in the classroom? While I know nearly all educators are in it for the students at what point is "all in" including staying up to date and relevant in the field in which you teach and implementing that knowledge?

Going into my fourth year teaching, I am probably not at large to say, but I can speak individually I am a far better teacher than I was my first year. I tried many things that year that were bridging on large ideas, but it wasn't pretty or fabulous or moving. I myself was still grappling with how to teach these ideas so my students understood them, and I didn't quiet have enough grasp on the concepts myself to explain all scenarios.  Since my first year, I have become an avid blog reader, a subscriber to many math journals, finished a Master's program in K-6 Math Coach, and it is only now that can finally sorta teach those topics to the point of student understanding. At least now, I feel confident I can answer all questions students ask. I feel confident I am up to date on what I as an educator should know and try to implement daily. I teach knowing a lot about CCSS, I use quizzes that match the rigor of the CCSS, and I grade 85% Proficiency's 15% Other. My students know the word proficiency, they know it means passing a test tied to a fancy string of letters and numbers that match a simple statement on the board. They know they get a sticker for each one they pass and it is proudly displayed in the classroom, after the second or third attempt they also still get that sticker having shown proficiency. They know I value how they got an answer and their explanation for it.

But as we move forth with two momentous events in what will be educational history including the roll-out of CCSS and PBL - Common Core State Standards and Proficiency Based Learning; I feel informing teachers across the nation has shown a large disconnect from implementation. Teachers know PBL should be showing what we can guarantee authentic, yet many teachers still count homework or help students answer questions on a test or their grades do not reflect the learning of proficient, approaching mastery, or mastery.  We can also say we understand how rigorous the CCSS will be, but then state we either don't have money for a new textbook so we can't implement them well or we find another can't reason.  This is deeply frustrating to me as the internet has provided access to the world, yet we don't want to invest our own time to find the material or look at the assessments tied to CCSS to see the rigor. (Yes I understand older teachers have families and lives and get tired of spending extra hours outside of school, I get it, but taking a two minute scroll through the list serv to read most common news releases is easy)

As an educator who has considered moving into higher ed or leadership positions, I think about how to get these teachers across the nation on board. I know in districts just providing the links to materials they can use in their classrooms instantly with no extra work isn't going to do it justice, but it would be a start. I sometimes feel that pressure from administration is the only way change will occur. I have seen admin's place that pressure to garner results and force teachers to improve and stay up to date, but it also burnt bridges and relationships creating a negative environment.  So it will be a delicate balance.

For these two large educational movements to go through successfully teachers need to start taking a look at their individual perspectives and decide "Am I knowing and implementing or Am I knowing and not implementing"

I will leave you with a video that shows a reflection on what most states are currently using for state assessments where as CCSS has more of a why does it work concept with fill in the blanks, student responses, problem solving, and manipulating scenarios to show answers. Remember my teacher always told me to choose C.


Popular Posts