Friday, April 30, 2021

CURMUDGUCATION: Falling Behind In An Actual Classroom

CURMUDGUCATION: Falling Behind In An Actual Classroom
Falling Behind In An Actual Classroom

The chicken littling about Learning Loss is just never going to stop. Today I came across yet another article (that I won't link to) warning that the Learning Losses from the pandemic pause will haunt students for the rest of their lives.

The worst of the Learning Loss panickers are revealing too much about what they don't understand, but what they especially don't understand is what goes on in an actual classroom, because the whole concept of "falling behind" is a layperson's oversimplification of what actual education looks like.

I think I was a pretty run-of-the-mill example of the teaching profession in my thirty-nine years, so let me explain what my year generally looked like. 

At the beginning of the year, I'd launch the dual processes of Trying To Teach Stuff and Figuring Out What This Batch of Students Knows and Can Do. At no point in my career were the Big Standardized Test results a useful part of this process because A) the results were nothing but a score and we weren't even allowed to see the questions, so had no way of knowing what exactly students got right or got wrong and B) the results don't come until the school year was already well under way. 

In my career, I mostly taught grades 9 through 12, all tracks, so September always brought students with a very wide range of tools. One of things you get better at with experience is assessing what the students bring to the table, both academically and otherwise. And then you go from there.

This initial assessment does not tell you anything CONTINUE READING: CURMUDGUCATION: Falling Behind In An Actual Classroom