Join the #DigilitSunday authors at Margaret Simon’s blog here.
Welcome, old friend.
My #OneLittleWord for 2015.
So enough said?
Not so fast! Let’s reconsider “Focus” with a different lens – or two!
Focus on Who?
Simple . . .
Focus on Students
Who will focus?
The teachers and the school community
This two-fold approach ensures that students are the center of the work. And as teachers and the school community focus on students, the teachers will collaboratively work together as they learn, grow and share ideas and techniques to best meet the needs of students.
Maintain status quo?
Teachers and schools are constantly considering what is working and what is not. It’s 2016 so schools and “learning” don’t look the same as they did in the 1960’s, 1980’s or even in 2000. The adults in the community have already “DONE” school and years of schooling don’t make them experts. The students currently in the building are the FOCUS.
Focus on What?
Learning . . .
How does an educator decide “WHAT” to focus on? There are many lists/features that are all “research-based” and even appear to have “gold stickers”.
Which one is best? There’s no “clear cut” answer for the best or even the “one” that will have the greatest impact because many of the “whats” that teachers can work on can also be combined for even greater student results. Instead of searching for the best, look within. What can you the teacher, add to your repertoire to increase your impact or effect?
What happens when a teacher uses data to study what is working currently in the classroom with the current students and then decides to change one variable and measure that effect?
Any of these could be a target of district or personal teacher study (and could overlap):
- Hattie’s effect sizes,
- Art of Comprehension via Trevor, Rich, Donna, & Justin’s graphic, or
- questioning (DOK).
Art of Comprehension, Bryan, Donner & Dolci #40CF “Art of Comprehension” Voxer Conversation
The key is using several data points (never just one) to determine where a change needs to occur, developing a plan and then working that plan! Quality instruction, quality teachers, and a quality use of time!
Focus on How?
How are decisions made about instruction, learning and teaching? How is technology involved? (I know you were waiting for the “DigiLit” connection!) How can technology be a TOOL that allows equitable access for ALL students? How can technology level the playing field for students and for student learning? How can technology allow students to APPLY their learning outside of school settings?
Methodology varies from classroom to classroom, building to building, and district to district. Some have local choice and some have state mandates. Within all situations one factor remains, professional responsibility! The professionals in the classroom have a responsibility to provide the environment and instructional opportunities that enable ALL students to learn at high levels!
And now I’ve gone full circle. The answers to Who? What? and How? have brought me to the Why? which brings me back to my 2016 #OneLittleWord: Joy.
There is JOY for students when students are the focus. There is JOY for students when learning is the focus. There is JOY for students when teachers are growing, learning and sharing those practices that have data to support that they increase students’ desire to learn and their learning. There is JOY for teachers when students and teachers have learning as the focus. Teaching is NOT for the faint of heart; teaching is FOR the students! All students must be growing and learning every day and that’s no easy task!
Joyful Learning Every Day!
What do you focus on? How do we know that is your focus?
And what if?
What if . . .
Teacher Clarity (Hattie), The 6 Things We Teach Every Day (coming soon in a book by Trevor Bryan) and Questioning at higher levels (DOK) were all strengthened simultaneously? How would that look for the students? How would that make a difference for students?