a blog for teachers who follow the Master Teacher
One of my colleagues has been using “I can” statements instead of learning objectives. (Some examples are in the photo.) This past semester, she wrote manageable and measurable “I can” statements for each intensive reading unit, shared them with students at the beginning, and then asked them to self-assess at the end. As a result, her students seemed to have a better understanding of their progress, and in the process, she also took steps toward her professional development goal of helping students take ownership of learning.
During the last year or more under pandemic limitations, our life, it seems, has been taken over by “I can’t” statements. Some of mine might include, “I can’t leave my Chinese province,” or “I can’t go home to see my family.” As teachers, our list of “I can’t” statements may be even longer especially if we’re teaching online. “I can’t see, hear, interact, engage, watch, differentiate, manage, help…”
Without making light of the challenges of teaching during this pandemic, I wonder if we need a set of “I can” statements to work toward especially if we’re looking ahead to another semester online. I’ve listed a few potential ones below. What would you add?
In my mentoring, I ask teachers to choose three benchmarks to work toward during a semester of teaching, and then we narrow down further to just one. We spend the next few weeks collaboratively figuring out how to reach their chosen benchmark. Which of the “I can” statements above stand out to you? Which one would you like to focus on over the next semester of teaching? Who could help you figure out smaller steps to take toward your goal?
With another semester of limitations looming, instead of focusing on the negative, let’s embrace the positive. Rather than seeing impossibilities, let’s create possibilities. Instead of being overwhelmed by the challenges, let’s break them down into manageable solutions. Rather than using the pandemic as an excuse to resort to old, familiar and easier ways of teaching, let’s use it as opportunity and inspiration to innovate. Most importantly, no matter where we are or how limited our circumstances, nothing can separate us from the Master Teacher’s love. We always have “in-person” access to Him.
We welcome your comments on any of the ideas in this post or in answer to the questions below.