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#oklaed, Education, EduThinking, Teaching

Thoughts While Mowing Part 2

While mowing yesterday my mind wandered – as it often does – and here are some of those thoughts.  Not too many answers but more questions….

  1. Is it possible to “quantify” a teacher’s impact on a student? Is there really a tool that can do this?  For every teacher?  Who has time to go through all of this data?
  2. Is it possible to “quantify” all of the other outside school factors that impact a student’s learning?  Think: nutrition, safety, sleep, family structure/support etc.  how would we change our education system with the data?
  3. What if every teacher in the state refused to give a standardized test?  What if we gave a standardized test every six weeks and got instant feedback?  Would this track student growth more efficiently?  
  4. What if every teacher assessed their students in an alternative way?  Portfolio, project, community outreach, etc.
  5. What would happen if we allowed teachers to teach, at max, four hours each day?  Then used those other hours to lesson plan?  No other required duties allowed.
  6. What if there was a law that banned scripted, test prep lessons?  Would teachers take more risks in the classroom?
  7. What if we changed school districts and matched them to county lines?  Does anything change?  If so is it so bad we regret it or after a few years does it work out?
  8. What if we only allowed people with masters degrees to be teachers?  Would this make a difference in the impact a teacher makes?
  9. What if school districts stopped funding athletics?  Athletics became a community club organization, similar to Europe.  Would this save any money?  Or would the loss of revenue from ticket sales make the difference?
  10. Why don’t teachers vote?  With early voting and mail-in ballots, what is so hard about this?  Would we vote if our name went into the mega-millions lottery?  Would this be a bad idea?

I don’t have too many answers here…just lots of questions – it seems to me that there are some things that teachers could do better.  There is also a lot of room for policy creators to improve.  Together – we will make a positive change!

Pardon any significant typos – this was done on my phone at my son’s soccer practice 🙂


About Scott

My name is Scott. After 18.5 years as a high school math teacher in public education I have made the move to become a full time PhD student. This decisions was difficult, but has been one of the most rewarding things that I have ever done. Teaching in high school was an incredible experience for me, so leaving an environment that I loved for the unknown was a challenge. As I high school teacher, I taught almost every math course that could be offered. I was able to earn National Board Certification in Young Adult Math. I was honored as my building Teacher of the Year, no mean feat at Edmond Memorial High School!! My career changed as I became fascinated with educational technology and all of the things that it can do for teachers. I flipped my class. I used iPads and blogging (in high school math!!). I started using gamification and mastery learning. I changed my practice. I chose to go back to school to learn as much as I could. To bring that knowledge from academia and research to the teacher on the front line. I have had the opportunity to present at several conferences and share what I have learned with others. Its through these connections that we can be the best teachers we can for our students. They deserve it and we sell ourselves short when we don't give it. I love talking with teachers about change. About incorporating educational technology. About the power that they have to change lives. My blog space is me, it shares my passions and frustrations, my joys and my learnings. If you are interested in what I am studying, please visit my graduate school pages. If you are interested in the flipped classroom, I have some links to get your started. I would love to meet you! Do not hesitate to reach out! I would enjoy the opportunity to work with your staff or trade ideas with your teachers - let me know! Have a great day! #BeBrilliant


3 thoughts on “Thoughts While Mowing Part 2

  1. Love these questions. i like questions with no easy answers…they’re the ones that linger…and linger.


    Posted by claudiaswisher | November 13, 2015, 9:23 am
  2. Just so happens that all the even-numbered items in your list struck a chord with me:

    #2: I expect they could be quantified. And of course it needs to be a priority to work to eliminate or at least minimize each one. BUT what we can’t allow happening is these be excuses for students NOT getting effective learning. For sure it will be more difficult but we in education MUST find a way to facilitate every student’s effective learning skills!

    #4: My suggested alternative question: Why doesn’t every teacher assess students in an alternative way??? The three examples are each a good one.

    #6: There should be a law banning use of scripted, test prep lessons! But teachers should understand and fight them – refuse to use them being best. Sadly, though, even if they were banned, too many (one is too many for me) would still teach to THEIR classroom tests!!!

    #8: Here’s where my lack of School of Ed curricula comes out. I don’t know if undergrad or grad OR neither curriculum emphasizes and expects pre-service teachers (will never understand that phrase…) to understand, utilize in schools, and discuss resulting experiences in the classroom; BUT if they both don’t do so, then both curricula must change! Then there will be an impact on student effective learning. I do believe this, however: Anecdotally, I hear too many MS Education programs allow student plucking of disjointed and often too non-meaningful courses, resulting in a worthless MS degree; these may satisfy job requirements but won’t impact student effective learning!!! Same thing happens all too often with MS Engineering degree programs by the way. One solution: Require a meaningful thesis and/or an oral exit examination – preferably both but, for me, oral examination should be required of all MS students!!!

    #10: Teachers don’t vote for maybe the same reasons many people don’t vote: We are too often voting for the lesser of two bad choices – people who will vote the party line on issues, never considering the facts and justification for seeking to make things better. Teachers being in the public sector for the most part, this is only made worse.

    So there is my input on some of your excellent questions.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by jcbjr9455 | November 13, 2015, 3:59 pm

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