Saturday, July 16, 2011

Identifying Passions

Every year what we call summer break seems to get shorter and shorter. I believe many educators would agree with me on that. Nevertheless, one way I've used my summer break is to renew, replenish and identify my passions. I believe that to some extent the focus of a person's passion can change over time. As a person changes and grows, so does a person's passion.

There are some passions that I don't know will ever change for me. One of those is a desire to help students internalize that education is something they do, not something done to them. This is a platform of mine that I've been working on for at least ten years now. Still, the work continues.

As part of that overall passion, I have some added focus areas for this coming school year. Ensuring rigor is one of the new focus areas. This is a word being thrown about in educational circles but as I hear of things like the Atlanta Public Schools standardized testing cheating scandal, this teacher wonders where's the rigor? Maybe a better question is what is rigor? How do we ensure that students experience rigor as they grow with skills and content?

Another focus area is assessment. How do we truly assess students so that they continue growing with content and skills? How does variety play into the forms of assessments we use? How do we use assessment to document growth with rigor?

I am wondering what your passions are for this coming school year. When I looked up the definition of passion, I found "any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling." So what is the thing that compels you as a teacher?

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