Friday, August 21, 2009

Look Before You...

Well, today will be the last day of our first unit - Beowulf and the Anglo-Saxon period. I'm a little disappointed, because I didn't give the resume assessment like I'd originally hoped to.

Instead, they'll be taking a test. This isn't my idea, it's one that was handed down from our administration - possibly the supe, not just the principal. Each 2-3 weeks we're supposed to give a cumulative "benchmark test" so that we can see how students are progressing over time.

Now, ideally, the benchmarks would be weighted very lightly and I'd do the assessment I originally planned as well and use that for the unit assessment. However, the other teachers in my department balked at this idea (more work, after all) and I was glad that someone else had brought it up! And, honestly, there's no way that I would be able to design, explain, and grade the resume assessment AND the benchmark test and STILL have time to plan out my next unit and do everything else I need to do also, at least not to the level of quality I expect of myself.

I really feel like this is the year I'm coming into my own as a teacher. The transition to English IV has gone fairly smoothly - knock wood - and if I teach it next semester as well, I'm confident that I'll be able to incorporate more authentic assessment in addition to the benchmarks.

I have to admit, though, that very feeling is making me nervous. I've always heard (read?) that after steady professional growth the first five years, improvement starts to plateau, and I don't like that idea. I like seeing how much progress I've made, and I don't enjoy the thought of more modest growth. I want to continue with the leaps and bounds!

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HappyChyck said...

I'm sure you'll always be able to find areas to grow by leaps and bounds when you have such a passion for self-improvement!

Clix said...

I sure hope so, HappyChyck!

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