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Using Tests To Your Advantage

A great sports quote I saw recently asked “Which player are you?”  and then said “Bad players don’t take much seriously. Average players take games seriously.  Good players take practice & games seriously.  Great players take academics, nutrition, warm-ups, individual work, weight room, conditioning, film, practice & games seriously.”

I love this quote because it flies in the face of what is part of the demise of recent generations and the age old saying “kids these days” who need instant gratification for any action they take.  When we see all the greats in sports, or any performance-oriented task, we only see their greatness.  Sure, we hear the cool stories of perseverance like how Michael Jordan was cut from the high school basketball team and went on to be the best player who ever played, but we don’t see the thousands of hours they put in to get to their greatness.

And even if someone does take on...

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The Meaning of Grades with Dr. Bill Rice

Welcome back to the Sustainable Teacher Podcast, and today  we have a return guest, my  husband, Bill Rice.  He was first on the podcast back on episode 39, so not too long ago, where we talked about his perspective as principal and husband to a sustainable teacher - so if you haven’t yet, you’ll want to go back and give that a listen.

In this episode, though, we are focusing in on a particular subject, and that is grading.  Specifically, the meaning of grades and how a teacher could be more aware and intentional around what it means when they give a student a specific grade.

This is not a light conversation, and there are certainly fourteen other conversations (or podcast episodes) we could have from this one interview.. And maybe some day we’ll go there, but today we’re focusing on the work Bill has recently done in his research on the meaning of grades, and what it’s been to just scratch the surface on this issue.

So without...

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Overcoming the Game of Grades with Your Students

I’m betting you’ve had a student come to you at the end of the semester or grading period to ask if there’s anything they can do to improve their grade, and your answer is, yes, you could’ve cared and done your work months ago - but caring now is too little too late.

Or maybe you’ve had a student come to you about how they were only one or two points away from an A on the test, after you had already slightly rounded up their score, and now they were asking you to round it up more.

I’m betting you’ve had any number of experiences like these whose true, underlying meaning is that the student cares more about the grade they receive in your class than they  do the learning experience.

This is not a one-classroom, one-school, or one-region issue.  This is a systemic, culture-wide issue inside of education that I will say, I’ve seen some improvements in over my years in the classroom, but I’m not sure will ever truly go...

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