I don’t know what goes on in my brain while I am sleeping. Strange stuff, though, I am sure. I wonder if perhaps I follow Alice through the looking glass, because when I wake up I have the most random ideas floating through my psyche. This morning I was pondering if my students could understand the difference between a defining moment and a pivotal moment.
I sent home report cards, and I hated it. I knew that no matter what I said, they would wear those letters like labels, ala Hester Prinn – some for better, some for worse. Would they read the comments and see that I am tracking their growth? Could they understand in the confines of limited space that I am so proud of them? Could they see grades that were low as a chance for a pivot instead of a definition?
I ask them to have a growth mindset. We use the words persevere and iteration. So I feel a sense of betrayal grading them based on a standards system. I would rather have them work on their digital portfolios of work and reflect on their learning. That would be a lot of work, a huge paradigm shift and a loss of accountability as our culture knows it – and would be outside of the mandate, of course.
Someone out there has made the shift. I am certain of it. Is it you? What did you change, and how did you make it happen?