Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Changing the Norm

It has been a while since I posted anything into this blog as I was away from my desk for a couple days in April but PSSA testing is a way we need to find if our students have reached the standards they need to build skills.

I watched a TED episode last night that discussed education and how it needs to be changed.  I found it very interesting as I read lots of information about this topic in all of the organizations that I am a part of, but still only a few try new things.  One fact that stood out to me was that the US ranked 15th in overall reading which was a tie with Poland and Iceland.  Among those 15 countries, 11 countries had a standard teacher evaluation, expectations, and guidelines for everyone.  The US was not one of those countries, but the fact of the manner was that we need to develop teacher skills to help with instruction.  US also ranked 23rd in Math and 31st in Science.  As a country we need to start working on a more common evaluative system that can develop stronger teachers.  Strong teachers should be the norm and not the exception.  Supporting staff in such ways will cost so much money that I feel it will not happen.  Bill Gates stated that teachers should video tape themselves every day and review their instruction.  He said that teachers should view each other lessons for peer review too as critical eyes can be helpful to everyone.   Along with the encouraging stories that were shown about successful models of instruction, how can we make that the norm and not the exception?