This week we discussed our upcoming Unit Plan project. It really helped me to go over the assignment as a class, and also ask any questions we had regarding it. I also greatly appreciated our teacher going over the steps and parts of an actual unit and what is she expects from us. We have never done an abbreviated project like this so it was new information for many of us. Like we have been learning about all along, exemplars make the learning so much more clear. In the second half of the class we were able to go over a case study as a group. I enjoy practicing new learning strategies as a group because they are a lot less daunting this way. We are able ask questions and communicate within a small number of people, and this creates an even safer learning environment. I at first found the student profile difficult to read and comprehend. I also found it overwhelming with information. Although there really wasn’t an immense amount of school records, when you don’t know what your looking at or what your looking for it can be very intimidating. We eventually worked together to understand the student profile, and were able to answer several questions regarding the students records.
Going forward we will need to incorporate student case studies into our unit plan, so this in class assignment will help us navigate through that. I acknowledge that knowing a student’s school records and performance is important and can help us as teachers to move forward in vast ways. This information is vital and I’m thankful that school systems have easier and more convenient ways of transferring and accessing a student’s school records. However, I also know that students struggle for many different reasons, and teachers need to be aware of this. The numbers cannot label a student, nor constrain their potential for success in the classroom. I think all too often teachers see a failing student and write them off. I feel that when we look beyond the numbers and ask why, we are putting the student’s interest at best. Students are complex and constantly growing and changing, therefore we cannot let past failures or struggles hinder their potential in the now and the future.
We have discussed several times the positive effects of assessment and evaluation, as well as the negative ones. Likewise, we need to embrace the positives of student school records, and be aware of the negatives at the same time.