Wednesday, February 9, 2011

PROOF! Time travel does exist!

This post is about grading...

What happened?
About 4-5 years ago we began a journey to reform our grading practices and implement district wide K - 8 a standards-based environment.  Through much change, courageous conversations and lots of bravery teachers began to see the "new" (as they called it) way of grading provided them with new insights into their teaching and grading practices.

We were on the road to greatness.  I "drank the Kool-Aid!"

Not to take too far of a detour but my teaching, assessments, and classroom interactions are much more focused, more meaningful and bottom-line kids are learning more and having fun, and better yet so am I!

Self promotion section:
My website to find more resources on how I use Standards-based grading (SBG):
My resume with presentation I've presented on SBG and more:
My dissertation resource centered around SBG:

1.21 Gigawatts Marty!!!!
So here's where the time machine comes in...  Overheard at a meeting the other day:
"How are we going to teach these kids responsibility if we don't put it into their grade?"
"How are these kids going to be successful in high school if they don't do their homework?"
"Kids will not learn (insert subject here) unless they practice 15-20 problems every night, and I cut that back."

That was it.  It's official, we've gone back in time.

Advice for Leaders
A piece of advice.  When implementing a new program, when instituting a large organizational second order change process (Read Fullan's Leading in a Culture of Change.)  Understand this process will take YEARS to complete and provide your teachers opportunities to continue to develop understanding.

Change, big change, happens over time and there will be opportunities to 'slip back' (typically called the implementation dip) into the way they know, they way that 'worked.'  Whatever your position is, care for them, understand they are uncomfortable and let them know you understand they are taking a risk.  Only through risk will true growth occur.

Setting a course
Here's to hoping we can right the ship, begin the conversations again and continue the journey.

Image credit:

1 comment:

  1. Mr. McGee - You are addressing issues that happen very often in any organization. Creating sustainable change requires a well developed plan with lots of checks along the way. There will most likely be set backs and issues that arise. The difference between sustainable change and non-sustainable change is how these set backs are addressed and hopefully avoided. Your last sentence really sums it up...if you don't risk you are not going to grow...and if we don't risk to make the appropriate and needed changes, we most certainly won't be growing.

    Great post!