1. Instead of policy makers only considering teacher:student ratio, I hope they consider student:class room square footage ratio.
I saw the picture above on Twitter with the statement that suggested classrooms should look like Barnes and Noble. That sounds pretty, but “in the real-world” how would this work in a typical classroom?
My first thought when I saw this image was Where are the other 17 students? That is a lot of space for 11 children. It’s an optimal space for teaching and learning, but it isn’t reality yet. I hope it soon will be.
2. I hope we rethink how we use classroom assessments*.
A. we focus more on using formative assessments to guide instruction rather than giving tons of redundant diagnostic and summative assessments generating a bunch data that we have no clue how to use.
B. use summative and diagnostic assessments more appropriately.
C. all stakeholders having meaningful discussions about what effective assessments (e.g. formative, summative, authentic, informal, diagnostic, etc.) are, the purpose of the different types of assessments, and what they look like.
3. I hope we begin to truly value and support other content areas like science and the humanities as well as the arts again- especially in the primary grades.
I hope this support will include materials & supplies, time and space for all content areas to be taught, and supporting professional growth opportunities for all educators (including administrators) to increase content knowledge and refine pedagogy.
I have so much more that I hope for in my profession in 2015, but I think this would be a great start. What are your hopes for 2015.
*Note, I typed class assessments and not standardized tests.
I’m not a “We don’t need no assessments” type educator. We assessments to measure what students do and do not know as well as identify learning misconceptions. Formative assessments are awesome in refining lesson plans to suit your specific learners. Best way to work smart and maximize instructional time.