What’s Up

So, I’ve finished my principal certification courses and field experience hours.  Woo-hoo!  I am registered to take the test December 8 (don’t even ask about the emergency registration fees…okay, do….they’re outrageous).   Why did I pay almost the entire test fee in emergency registration fees?  I didn’t want to wait until February.  See, my fabulous husband has convinced me to start a doctorate in January. Both of us.  At the same time.  Talk about outrageous money.  I’ve chosen to ignore how much it will cost us and the fact that the entire family (there’s 5 of us, by the way) will be eating mostly ramen noodles for the next three years.   So, I’m excited I’m done with one thing, a tad nervous about the test, and apprehensive about what will begin in January.  

Hopefully all of this will lead me to a job.  My grant position runs out this year, and, while I could go back to the classroom, my passion has changed.  I now want to change the world.  Okay, not the world, but at least a school.  I want to make the difference for students and teachers alike.  I know what it’s like to work in a school with horrible morale among the teachers.  I want to be an administrator who can sustain good morale or uplift bad morale.  I know it’s idealistic, but I’m going with it.  You need to have  strong vision to get things done, right?

My hope is that, by having certification and a start on a doctorate, I’ll have a leg up on anything that might come open in the spring.  It’s a very exciting time in the Human Voices Wake Us and Out of My League household. Debt-ridden, but exciting.

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

“I decided never again to give a “closed book” test. I encouraged my students to make detailed “cheat sheets,” and we dedicated one entire side of the classroom as a “reference” area. Students brought in all the references they could find relative to the topics being studied in class, and I created tests focused on process over product and on thinking over simple recall. It was the best way I knew to prepare my students for a world in which using what you know is far more important than the rote memorization of isolated facts.” – Daniel Kinnaman

In business it’s smart collaboration, in education it’s cheating. Why are teachers so vehement in giving work or tests that lend themselves to “cheating?”  Where did we get that?  I know I went through school and memorized facts, completed worksheets, etc. where it was easy to cheat. I cheated in high school, and I’m sure most others did at one time or another.  If we don’t want students to cheat, why do we keep giving them work that makes it easy to do so? Is it because it’s easier for us to grade multiple choice and worksheets?  Is it because we can feel like we have a higher moral ground by saying, in effect, “Here’s something that’s easy to cheat on, but I expect that you won’t cheat, because it’s the right thing to do, and I wouldn’t cheat (because I’m a good person).” If we give students the information ( as suggested in the above quote) and let them use each other, digital recorders, etc., what are we afraid will happen?  They’ll remember what they did?  We’ll be bad teachers?  We’re giving up control?  We’re communicating an immoral idea that it’s okay to work with others? 

Why are we so scared?