Monday, December 29, 2014

Counting Down?

There is a list of memes circulating on Facebook claiming to be the Top Ten New Year's Resolutions for teachers.  Given that I have been away from my classroom for almost a week, it's easy to look at this list and fall into the trap of snarkiness.  (Okay, so maybe that isn't a word, but it should be.  You know what I mean. ) Clearly memes are meant to be snarky, and if you are a teacher who loves teaching for all the RIGHT reasons,  (aka seeing kids' eyes light up, show pride, and genuinely engage), it's easy to become overcome by the frustrating crap  attempts at enlightenment like "quality professional development", midstream curricular changes, and teaching advice from anyone who hasn't been on the front lines in a classroom during the last three years.

 May I Present My 2015 Countdown?

#3  Webb's DOK


Who's There?


Webb Who?

It seems like there should be a great punchline to add to this.  But my mind is numb, and I've been unsuccessful.  I really wanted to scoff at Webb two years ago when it was first presented as the greatest new thing for educators.  Really.  How stupid is this DOK wheel?  How many different educational "experts" can reinvent Bloom's Taxonomy?  Any teacher worth her salt knows about higher-level thinking, right?  It seemed like just another way to create another in-service training and another acronym to befuddle my acronym-befuddled mother.

Then I realized that I could use DOK as a means to prove growth in my students, and started highlighting Webb Wheels in different colors for each student's progress on their personal analysis responses.  Now I think of Webb like some kind of Spidey-sensed Superhero.  (Does whatever a spider can, right?)  I WILL be embracing the DOK.  Dare I say, Docking on the DOK?

#2 Blogging.

 The number of days when I've dragged myself to the computer to write something since September thinking I was burdened instead of blessed are surprisingly fewer than I anticipated.  I've grown as a teacher, had many meaningful conversations with colleagues, and found many new friends through this whole process.  I'm now routinely connecting with people from New Zealand, Finland, and Australia, talking about education!  How exciting is THAT?  (VERY!)  So why should I keep this blogging thing to myself?  I intend to pull the kids into this blogging thing.  (Fair warning, my friends!)

OBTW, (that's an acronym courtesy of my former principal, Jim Lawrence - Oh, by the way), why aren't YOU blogging?

#1 Conversing

My classes have spent the entire first semester focusing on metacognition.  Thinking about thinking.  Reflection.  Habits of Mind.  All kinds of mind stuff.  Next semester, it's all about TALKING.  While that may sound like heaven to some, and hell to others, the conversational skill focus will certainly shake things up.   Socratic discussion, opinion, disagreement -- it will be a blast.  My biggest resolution is to keep my big mouth shut in the classroom.

Because, really, I learn so much more when I listen to the kids than when I talk at them.

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