Saturday, September 26, 2009


Blinkers...the sole purpose is to inform those around you of your decision to make a new direction. We've all been sitting at a stoplight, waiting for the car to pass, when they make a turn without turning their blinker on. Or, you're behind someone, thinking they are going straight and then they turn, all without notifying you of their decision.

As a teacher, I've always been one who has her "blinkers" on sometimes, not always. I teach with the state, district guidelines in my head, but always prepared to change direction as my treasures veer in another path. I am always open to their interests, questions, and inquiry so I can weave them into the curriculum as our year unfolds.

But, lately I've had to wrap my head around the fact that the paradigm is moving into a more "blinker" approach to teaching. Where are you going with this subject? When are you teaching ____? How will you assess and grade their learning? What is your purpose for doing this? Why are you not moving along as quickly as other teachers? All these are questions I've been asked lately and I'm not certain I have the answer. I look at my students. I know if I move slow this trimester, I'll be able to move faster the next two because the routines, the workshops, the expectations will have been set. For now, I'm working on finishing my "have-to" assessments. I'm learning what each student is reading and likes to read. I know who I need to touch base with daily in writing. I have my students who I need to have small groups in math weekly. I know who have some social issues. I am learning about my students. Perhaps it's not the "blinker" approach to teaching, but if I'm asked where I'm moving forward...that's where I'm going. I'm moving to a collaborative approach to learning where they will learn more from each other, than from me.

1 comment:

  1. What a powerful analogy, Shelly! I think you are right to follow your treasures. The importance of getting to know your students and establishing learning routines is invaluable. With a deep understanding of the importance of routines coupled with the knowledge of the standards, your treasures will shine this year with your guidance.