We have been together for a few months now, and since we are coming up on our 2nd term report card, I just wanted to share some of my feelings with you. We have had such a great time, and in our relationship I have learned so much from you; it is amazing.
I remember first hearing about you back in University, and I just always thought that you were out of my league. I was accustomed to my life with Traditional Grading and I never thought I could break free of that life. You saw how awful it was last year when Trad and I were together. It seemed that every time report cards came around we would get in a fight and there was nothing I could do but limp along in the dead end hole of a grade-book. I didn’t understand what was going on, and it felt like we were just making numbers for the sake of making numbers.
Then in the summer, after hanging out in a few blogs, you and I came to see each other again. I was no longer worried about finals and writing papers, like when we first met, and I was free to sit down and really get to know you. First it was just reading, then we started getting more serious: making grade trackers for my students, preparing learning targets, and creating spreadsheets with conditional formatting. It was the stuff of fairy tales. You even helped when it came around to prepping for my current school year! I couldn’t believe how much clarity you brought to my life. No longer did I have to worry about what I was going to teach; we had worked that out together already. I knew what I wanted my students to learn and, thanks to you, I was able to focus on how I should teach my students, what a beautiful prospect.
When I look at you now, I know that what we have is special. I see so much in you. I now know that Billy’s three in the Pythagorean theorem means he knows how to apply the formula to a given problem, but sometimes forgets to find his square root on the last step. I look at what we’ve created, and I can get a sense of the class’ ability just by our colour scheme! This is something I never had with Trad and what I look forward to in the future.
Not all is perfect though. It’s funny I see you with @jybuell and @thinkthankthunk and wonder if that will ever be us. I know, I know, you guys have a history and I can’t expect that we would work as well together so early on, but darn-it, I cannot wait until that time. We have so much still ahead of us. We have to improve our student buy-in, we need to incoroporate reassessment more naturally in the day to day culture of the classroom, and we have to have more student input in the process. I am deeply sorry that not one student has helped develop a rubric this year, little to no peer assessment has occurred and our self-assessment has been very shallow. We still have the hills to climb, but based on these first few months, I know that we are headed in the right direction.
SBG you have done so much for me to relieve my anxieties of teaching and understanding my students. You have shown me so clearly what those cherubs can do and what they know. How can I ever repay you? Thank you so much for being a part of my practice.