Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Walla Walla, Washington to Kalamazoo ...

If you've spoken with me about my masters program, you know that I'm thrillled to be attempting to learn more about teaching - especially differentiating instruction for ALL students. A few problems, though. We have over twenty (20) students in our online cohort, so many of them have questions and don't advance as quickly as I would like. A lot of the material thus far has also been repetitive - not in the fact that after three classes we have gone over similar material in each, but rather, that my previous education (from high school through six -yes six - years of college) and inservice experiences included quite a bit of this. So be it. I'm still learning. My expectations were different, but I've got good people to learn with and from, so I'll be fine as long as I'm patient and willing.

I do have to admit that the process has caused me to look at things in ... well ... different ways. The instructor for our current class asked us to write a letter to a 'fictitious' colleague, explaining the difference between assessment OF learning and assessment FOR learning. We were to use our current book as support. At first I had a hard time thinking of a specific audience, for the 'fictitious' colleage seemed vague to me. Then I realized that I would never write a letter to said person. If I felt comfortable enough bringing the topic up, I would probably either email a quick note or just go right to a person-to-person conversation.

In the end, I found my direction and wrote to Mrs. Donovan of the Kalamazoo Public Schools. I recommended the book as a means to enage in a continued passion for educating students. I explained the difference between "OF" and "FOR". And I extended an offer to speak in the near future regarding these topics.

Walla Walla, WA

By the way, the letter was actually pretty well written ... and Mrs. Donovan was Charlie Brown's teacher - look it up - it dates back to 1966.

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