I am not a purveyor of much educational literature. While I enjoy discussing the theories of education and developmental psychology at times, the horrid tests and reading assignments from my university days still make it difficult for me to choose to read educational literature. However, every so often an article catches my fancy, and I am sucked in. I first saw the article on Twitter and as such only saw the tagline, 3 things teachers need to stop doing.
The entire title of the article is: Stop, Start, Continue: Conceptual Understanding Meets Applied Problem Solving. I must admit when I clicked to the article and saw that there were 9 things listed, I was a bit dismayed. 9 things to add into my life is way too much. I was prepared for 3, not 9. However, I read through them anyway. And one of them struck me like a ton bricks.
For some teachers the EOC or EOG at the end of the year is the top of the mountain they have to climb. For others it is the simple knowledge that what they teach is a building block for the next year. The time is limited, and the room for error is tiny. We feel that if we fail, then it causes a whole chain of failure. At some point in time, the job of educators has been to avoid failure. If we just move fast enough, failure can be avoided. So, we move faster in an effort to outrun our failure.
Maybe moving faster isn’t the right answer. Maybe a better answer is being more creative and taking more risks. Maybe using the brains and talent that we possess to create a new way to do things is what our students really need. Maybe if we slow down and look at it from a new direction, then we will be happier, and so will our students.