In part one of this series, we did a quick rundown of the ISTE standards. Looking closer at these standards, you’ll learn how they can help students to engage, and even more importantly, to think. Don’t be deceived—just because ISTE is a technology organization, the standards are about good teaching and not just about how we use technology in the classroom.
Teachers in our neck of the woods tend to use the state standards to guide their lesson planning—and for good reason. The state tests that we take align to these standards, much like they do in other states that have adopted the Common Core standards. There are so many of these standards, we tend to stop there and not look any further when it comes to breaking them down.
So far in our feedback series, we’ve discussed general types of student feedback as well as best practices for feedback in the classroom. In thinking about how feedback shapes a classroom, I have changed my understanding of what quality feedback really means. It is much more than responses to students, and it is even more than comments back to them when correcting their work. It is a response to learning moments that move students deeper into their learning.
In the world of education, the terms trauma informed, trauma sensitive, and trauma invested have come to the forefront. While all these terms are very similar in nature, the importance of learning and understanding trauma is key to the success of our students. Google defines trauma as a “deeply distressing or disturbing experience.” When this type of experience happens to a child, it can affect brain development, which can impede learning as well as mental and physical health.
Summer vacation is a great time for educators to get some much-needed rest and relaxation after a busy school year and intense testing season. However, getting too relaxed can make for a rough transition into the next school year. To take full advantage of your well-deserved free time, it’s important to fill your summer with productive, fun, and fulfilling activities that will leave you refreshed and ready to dive into another great year come fall.
Diversity continues to increase in public schools nationwide. One in four school children are listed as a first- or second-generation immigrant in the US, and 350 languages are spoken in homes across our nation. It is so important to teach tolerance, empathy, and acceptance to prepare students for a diverse world.
One excellent way to do this is to expose your students to a variety of cultures. This year, I spearheaded our first Culture Night. Our school population includes many different cultures, and we really wanted to build community and appreciation with our families.
There really isn't a secret formula for the best way to provide feedback to teachers—different kinds of teachers require different kinds of feedback. This can make the challenge of giving adequate but constructive feedback hard for those who provide it. Teaching can feel like a very personal and even private endeavor for teachers, so any critique or criticism about instruction can feel more personal than it probably should.
Topics: Administrator Resources
Being a teacher is a more complex job than ever before. The challenges and stress of the position require teachers to possess an amazing ability to manage many dynamic factors all at once. One of the best examples for this is the emergency drills that we now partake in during the school day. Years ago, there was a fire drill every month, and possibly another drill depending on where you lived—we have tornado drills in our part of the country, but I know other locations have drills for earthquakes or other natural disasters.
Providing feedback to teachers can be a tricky prospect at times. Teaching, and instruction in particular, is a very personal undertaking. Getting up in front of a room of children takes a great deal of nerve at first, so as teachers become more and more accustomed to it, they tend to become more and more fixed in their approach to it.
This is a generalization, of course—not all teachers are like this. Some of the best teachers I have worked with love feedback and work hard to reflect upon and improve their instruction.