Wrapping up before Christmas break was a bit messy. We introduced a new project (the debate), completed a dreaded rhetorical analysis, had the counselors in for ACT prep, and then scrambled to finish the first checkpoint of their portfolio.
I’m telling you… We were all over the place. I think everyone was ready for a break and I was RIGHT there with them.
Heading back after break, we are easing in - to be honest. They have another checkpoint for their portfolio due so 1 ½ days are going to that, which is significant with only three days this week. Otherwise, we’ll be doing a second informal reading assessment. (First semester, they did a reading journal. This time they are doing a self assessment).
Then, we’ll be starting their debate constructives, or opening arguments. I modeled this like a synthesis FRQ so that they use their research (six sources max) and argue their stance on the resolution. It feels like a brilliant idea. We’ll see if it turns out that way when I get their essays.
I warn you. This may get ranty.
To me a school should allow teachers to Teach Sincerely - or to pursue what they are passionate about. With PD coming up in a few weeks, I can’t help but cringe.
I’ll start by validating some things that I admire. My district has different strands of PD: Kevin Feldman training, formative assessment, and writing to learn. This elective PD would be awesome - but we have to do all three, so really it is just a rotation, in no way based on choice. So… for me, last year I led the writing to learn cohort. I did Feldman before this rotation started. And now I am in formative assessment… which I don’t want to brag - but my Masters is in curriculum and assessment. It’s also just something I pursue on my own a lot, particularly in my National Board certification process.
Needless to say, this part of PD is making me stagnate instead of grow. It becomes tiring as these days feel wasted, unfortunately. Rather, it is up to me to pursue my own professional development - which I am not opposed to. I would do it regardless, but I wish I could experience more individualized learning as a teacher.