Old Me VS New Me | Thank you, #IMMOOC
The Old Me: The old me used to discuss students as categories, groups, and levels. I would say things like: “This game really helped my low students understand inferences” or “Wow! My high kids loved this writing prompt”. My colleagues and I would discuss our students based on their proficiency levels- even coding students who were approaching a benchmark in yellow highlighter and those who had reached the target in green. We discussed the percentages of students in each ‘level’, banding students together into categories and discussing how we can create ‘more green students’. The process helped me self assess the instructional approaches I selected, and my intentions were pure. BUT – there was something missing in this data collection and analysis cycle. One crucial ingredient. LEARNERS.
The New Me: I no longer refer to students as ‘low’ and ‘high’, ‘advanced’ and ‘struggling’. I no longer utter ‘he’s a good kid’ because this implies that ‘bad kids’ exist.
Now, when I discuss students, I refer to them by name. I no longer consider students’ needs, but consider each student’s needs – individual by individual.
Learners are no longer defined by numbers, levels, and labels, and instead are recognized for their talents, passions, needs, and interests.
Rather than letting data drive, let’s agree to put learners in the driver’s seat (@gcouros). Instead of focusing on numerical data for information (numbers), let’s focus on anecdotal data (found in conversation, interaction, experiences, discussion).
You see, anecdotes are relational; numbers alone are not.
And relationships trump numerical data every time. Relationships allow us glimpses into each student’s thinking, experience, and understanding – and connect us to students in a way far deeper than numbers and categories ever could.