Showing posts with label past vs present. Show all posts
Showing posts with label past vs present. Show all posts

Friday, May 1, 2009

Things going ok.

I have a niggling sensation that although things seem to be going ok, that there's something wrong. I can't lay my finger on it yet but I feel I've been here before.

My rapport with kids is going well, no complaints.. students engaging with coursework and some seemingly really positive results. Attendance is up, kids are completing work. No real behavioural issues.

The timetable is travelling pretty well with six weeks to go of semester one.

Maybe it's the lack of that "let's attack a problem" that I'm feeling. Usually at this time of term I'm trying to be proactive about something but I haven't found that thing that has school support. It's a bit of a case of do what you're doing. There's nothing really wrong with what you're doing but conversely nothing really all that right either.

My tens proved the "when you think they know something do one more lesson" again with distance between two points. They couldn't do it on Friday.. they sortof had an idea on Tuesday but by Friday they had no trouble with key concepts such as naming coordinate pairs, calculating distances between two points graphically and algebraically, labelling axes, plotting points and the like.

Students were liking 3A MAS again now that we had finished vectors and were finishing logarithms. The usual complaints about worded problems but they are slowly getting better.

Perhaps subconsciously I'm thinking that if I'm not being encouraged to push myself I'm being directed to have a look at my teaching methods and results. Maybe I do need to be more self critical.

My experience in teaching is that asking questions like this of peers causes people to question your competency, which is hardly a path to improvement.

It's a feeling of being a bit bland ...

... and I don't like it.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Setting goalposts for students

Once upon a time, in a land underneath our feet, students went to school. At the end of year 10 they reached a certain standard and were given a certificate. Some left for apprenticeships others went straight into the workforce and others stayed in school seeking their yr12 certificate or university entry. Class grades were generated on class norms and students that did not meet generally accepted standards repeated the year or left school. There was pressure and release for low and high performing students. Teachers focused on doing the greatest good for the greatest number of students.

Students today are carried to year 12 by their teachers and generally no longer repeat if unable to complete content. Schools are encouraged, at all costs, to get students to yr 12 and get their graduation certificate. Graduation rates and average TEE results are released in newspapers for individual schools. Statewide grades are given without taking into account socioeconomic factors. Students are now facing the inability to chose their subjects with their cohort and be prohibited occupations due to their geographical location. Students not able to achieve good TEE results are discouraged from sitting their TEE to preserve school scores and maximise scaling for 'good' students. Today, we have a focus on benchmarks, minimal performance levels and the performance of the top 10% of students. We are now much more focused on the social justice needs of outliers in our education system.

Which is the better system and which satisfies the needs of our society at this time?