Many schools pride themselves on their ability to foster tradition and school spirit in its students. While tradition is a fine way of bonding students with a sense of connection, it is an outdated way to rely on learning methods.
A few weeks ago, an advertisement for a content writing firm popped up on my screen. The identity of this firm shall remain nameless…at least for the time being. I’ve thought about writing blogs and other online content for other people, so I decided to check them out as a little side gig for extra cash. I mean, why not? Right?
Nearly a year ago, my phone displayed the CNN alert that Harper Lee would publish Go Set a Watchman. Admittedly, when I saw her name on the alert, I feared it was announcing her death. What took my breath away was replaced with excitement over the news of the new book, or lost book as it has come to be known.
Now, a year later, my original fear has been realized.
In the early part of 2003, a principal asked me to consult on writing benchmarks for his school. Before I attended my first interview with the classroom teachers, I spent some time reviewing the minimum standards for the state.
If your year-end assessment was next week, how prepared do you think your teachers would be? Before you collapse or have a panic attack, there is still time, and there are ways to help your teachers and students be more prepared.
Typically, this is the time of year is when I receive the most requests from principals for “a little extra help.” For starters, it’s never too late to give your students pointers for being successful on assessments. In fact, several years ago I conducted a workshop on essay writing with a group of teachers. After teaching my Process of Writing, a teacher raised her hand and asked, “Do you think I should go back and tell my students we’ve been doing it all wrong? Can we really make this change between now and the test?”
Evaluating teachers creates the perception they are doing something wrong. “Critique”, “analyze”, and “dissect” are interesting words as well. Regardless of the term you choose to use, I have found that evaluations are most effective when they do not focus on the negatives but rather on the positives and the suggestions for moving forward.
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