Should I Crush You Now Or Later?
Why is learning important? While there are many different important events that I could tell you about, there was one defining moment that helped me realize that I should never stop learning myself. It was mid-August and I was in the building getting ready to set up my classroom.
Before beginning, I popped in to say hello to my principal. While we were chatting, he looked at me and said, “I’m not sure if I should crush you or now or later.” I had no idea what he was talking about.
This was the first year that the state had returned teacher growth scores. These scores were based on the state test student growth scores. A teacher’s score could range from 0 to 20. My score was a 1. This shocked and horrified me!
Once he told me this, I was half-listening as he continued to explain how he kept reviewing the data to determine why it was so low. Even though my students had tested proficient, they hadn’t demonstrated growth over the previous year’s scores.
At this point, he told me he had convinced the superintendent that I would not need a teacher improvement plan. A teacher improvement plan! I couldn’t even begin to fathom this. Then he said that he knew me well enough to know that I would dig in, figure it out and adjust as needed. He was right.
Keep On Learning!
From that point on, I continued to research and try different approaches to introducing and teaching various concepts. I was learning new strategies that helped me be a better teacher for all of my students! One of the most important things that I learned was that students benefit when you scaffold lessons and activities. These practices continued to improve my teaching which had a positive effect on both myself and my students.
To this date, I continue to work on learning how to better address my students’ needs by developing activities and strategies that will help them be successful. As my principal recently said to me, “That 1 was the best thing that could have happened to you!”