I had my year end evaluation earlier this week and one comment has left me reeling: Teachers who have taught as long as you have rarely look to improve methods that aren’t working.
Firstly, if true, that’s sad. I hope it is fear of change which holds those teachers back and not a general lack of recognition of the problem and/or laziness.
Secondly, I can’t think of a better reason to improve. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it might be good advice, but the opposite is also true. You must fix what is broken. “Broken” is a broad term, or can be. It doesn’t just mean disasterously ruined, it can also imply simply cracked.
My program has cracked. The students are leaving in a trickle. I am not going to let the program hemorrhage before I do anything. And, I’m not going to just apply some glue and pray no one notices. I’m going to try and fix my program for good – a solid, well-thought out and researched fix.
After discussing my plans – reasons for the change and exactly how I planned to go about it – during my evaluation, I was shocked by the comment. Of course, I’m going to make changes and improvements when things aren’t going as I’d like them to. (How can an educator be okay with the status quo when the status quo is failing the students year after year?) But, more than that, I was shocked at the enthusiasm my administrator shared with me for wanting to implement these changes. I’ve never been more grateful for his leadership.
So, now I’m all in. I got the blessing from above to proceed.
I’ll be attending my first CI workshop, an edcamp for Virginia CI teachers in June. I can’t wait.
In addition, I discovered that there is a database of CI Latin teachers. Oh, the joy! I might just be hitting some of these folks up for advice during the summer and into the next school year. You’ve been warned! 🙂
Whether CI is the fix I’ve been hoping for or not, rest assured, I’m never going to stop looking for the best methods to reach and teach my students.