Something I don’t understand

Something I wonder about…in our school, we are pushing the idea of creating learning communities where we will share and learn and help each other to become better teachers.  We are supposed to be working together to determine weak spots and try to eliminate them, as well as creating a common curriculum with some sort of common assessments.  I’ve blogged about this before, but that isn’t the point of this post.

This semester, I am trying a more authentic assessment technique.  As I’ve mentioned before, the idea is to have students read stories and articles during the testing period and then test their comprehension knowledge and test to see if they can apply literary terms to the reading.  This is a change over the more typical testing where students are asked to remember particulars from previous readings in the semester.

I’ve mentioned that I am doing this to several other English teachers in my building (We have about 10 right now, but not all are full time)  Every one of them says to me that the idea sounds good and it is the right kind of test to be giving.  Here’s where I get confused:  Not one of them asks to see my test.  Not one of them says, “Hmm.  That’s  a good idea.  I should change my test.”  I’m not trying to be presumptuous or arrogant that these teachers will all lust after my test and want to take it as their own.  Really, I’m not.  I’m just puzzled by the fact that they aren’t the least bit interested.  No questions about it.  Just a nod and a kudos to me.

Are the teachers just telling me what I want to hear?  Are they saying that it’s the right test for me and my students, but not for them?  I don’t understand.  This is exactly why I find it hard to work with other adults.  Most of the time, I find that I am looking at things in a completely different way than everyone else.  Here’s my own personal hangup, though:  I can usually see the other person’s point of view…but I don’t always agree that their POV is equal to mine.  I’m cocky, I guess.  Or I don’t automatically value someone else’s opinion just because they believe it.  Which labels me as arrogant quite often.

I guess I can live with that…if I didn’t have to work with these people all the time…

I am the language lover and these are my thoughts.



  1. Nicole said,

    January 14, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    hmm. odd. One of the most common phrases to hear at our lunch table is “oooh…can I have a copy of that??”

    Although – I can kind of see not asking for a copy of that test. Just hearing “read an article and answer questions” seems like a pretty simple test to create. (Of course – once you start trying to do it you realize that finding the right article is often the difficult part)

  2. renaissanceguy said,

    January 15, 2009 at 12:39 am

    That reaction surprises me, too. There’s always at least one or two teachers around who will say, “Let me take a look at that.”

    My thought is that you should be confident in yourself. If it matters, I think that you are on the right track.

    I wouldn’t care too much about the reactions of the other teachers, unless one or more of them seems to have a better idea than you. If you are so inclined, you can push some of them toward striving for excellence, but you obviously cannot make them do so.

    I’m surprised that you haven’t already figured out the burden that smart people bear. Of course, you look at things differently. Of course, very few people care.

    I care, though.

  3. January 15, 2009 at 2:17 am

    Thanks for the support. It’s good to know that I’m not expecting something unusual here.

    Here’s where I struggle: I keep hearing that working in isolation is bad. It leads a teacher to getting stuck in their ways and ignoring the changes around them. So, I’m supposed to work with my colleagues. Unfortunately, the more I work with my colleagues, the more frustrated I become as I try to push them toward excellence. So, do I stay in my room and be happy or try to make my school a better place?

    RG: Thanks for the compliment…and the caring.

  4. Shirley said,

    February 14, 2009 at 3:58 am

    By definition, would not most people be considered average? The average person is happy doing an average job. What you are suggesting calls for a stretch, a reach, and perhaps to be polite, the average teacher says something like, “Good idea,” but in reality he/she is not motivated to expend such energy.

    Please keep striving and perfecting. Our society needs such teachers as you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: