Tag Archives: hard work

grades (inside and out)

As I’m learning to be a teacher, I have been paying close attention to formative assessment and true growth of students. I was reading this blog post and this one where a teacher teaches that learning is the goal, not grades. It’s so important in the classroom to create the concept that we are here to learn. It’s beyond amazing – but there are a lot of forces against this idea.

Parents put a lot of pressure on their students and teachers so that they get the best grades possible. Yes, parents I have talked to have been very concerned about their child’s learning, but up there is grades. It’s the starting and ending point for many parents, and eventually that gets instilled into the children’s minds. The students stress and grub about grades.

I have been grading a lot lately, and got my first taste at grading backlash. I’m still getting better (and more consistent at grading) but I have flaws (I am human). Even with rubrics it seems like points here and points there are dangling on a fence, and I have to tip them in the right direction. This is difficult, and the students find it difficult.

And there’s been something going on internally as well. I still care about grades. Really I do! I’m still in school – teachers are teaching me to be a teacher. So much in what I do is to see that that number followed by a decimal point and a zero. If it’s a 4.0 I’m relieved, anything lower and there’s a tinge of stress. I’m really trying to fight against this programming in me. Learning should be the focus. It’s what I tell my students. How do I tell myself that?

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hard work

It seems that the last few quarters were tough, mentally and physically. There were long hours, long drives, homework, schoolwork, work, work, but that was just the beginning. The work is only going to ramp up.


Looking at the base requirements for my teaching certification, I don’t need to do as much as I might have thought. I know the minimum isn’t going to cut it. I need to go above and beyond. It’s time to drink the coffee, espresso, soda, whatever to keep me going.


I need to start teaching more and establish myself in the classroom as a teacher, not a student teacher. It’s been a struggle with the inconsistencies of being back, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I need to be proactive and plan more.


I want to teach all day consecutively for a week. I haven’t done that since Korea, but the stakes are higher here, as there are more subjects to teach.


Since being back, I have done some observing and circulating around, but I need get out of the backseat. It’ll be a long climb up, but I have to do it.


Just this last week, I was doing a mini math lesson, and it was too much fun. As much work as it takes to be a teacher (and a new one at that), there is still so much joy. It’s so rare to find a job so creative, fulfilling, difficult, fresh and exciting.


It’s time to (insert metaphor here) and become a great teacher!

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