23 March 2014

Governor's Teacher Network Application

I believe in changing the system from the inside. I disagree with almost everything North Carolina's General Assembly has done to education this past year, but nothing will change for the kids I care about unless those of us in the trenches step up to fix it. And believe it or not, 450 of us are being offered the opportunity to do exactly that.

Teachers selected for the Governor's Teacher Network will not have the power to replace the lost teachers' assistants or abolish developmentally inappropriate testing, but they will work to plan professional development and instructional resources to share with all of our states' teachers. I figure this is my best chance to keep Common Core from being used as a weapon against teachers and children and maybe even to make something productive of it.

For professional development, I have to say I favor a sandbox model (here's something new--now go play with it!), so it's probably wiser for me to apply for the instructional resource side. Plus get this: "based on the current pool of state-level resources, applications addressing Advanced Placement, Arts Education, CTE, ESL, Exceptional Children, STEM, and World Languages are strongly encouraged."

What I really want to do is help facilitate a complete shift away from schooling, from "learning" that is artificial, impermanent, and irrelevant. I'd like to toss the textbooks, but I know Pearson's going to be the one pushing out the whole project, so I could at least try to make sure the textbooks are used responsibly, and that grammar doesn't get to drive the whole language ship anymore.

This could be my chance to advance the cause for project-based learning, portfolios, and 21st century skills like inquiry, communication, and collaboration! I could help make it easier for everyone to incorporate authentic learning all the time!

But I'd have to get selected first.

So for my application, I'm going to need an outline of units I'll create, including...

  1. Alignment with NC Standard Course of Study objectives
  2. The value of the resources for teachers

Then I need to prepare 2 example lesson plans to be evaluated based on the NC Summary Rubric (which, actually, I find pretty thorough and forward-thinking, Pearson or no). I especially like the "deeper learning" criterion, meaning lessons should
[require] at least 3 of the deeper learning skills (as identified), and offer a range of cognitive demand that is appropriate and supportive of the material, with appropriate scaffolding and direction provided.
The "deeper learning skills" are also exactly the kind of things I'd want to promote with such a project myself, too!

  • think critically
  • solve complex problems
  • work collaboratively
  • communicate effectively
  • learn how to learn
  • reason abstractly
  • construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
  • apply discrete knowledge and skills to real world situations
  • construct, use, or analyze models

Yep, those are exactly what SHOULD be happening!

I also need to make sure my lessons include

  • quality assessments
  • technological interactivity
  • varied of practice activities

All of this while making sure everything needed for the lesson would be accessible via HomeBase, regardless of technology access or local population (not everyone has a Centro Latino, for example).

So these are some lessons I'm thinking might entice the powers that be to let me on board:

and maybe #SOSVenezuela, though I fear it may be a little too dated even by semester's end.

I'd also like to make sure to throw in some of these strategies as part of the lesson plans, you know to show a little range, "deeper learning," and basic apply-to-any-unit tactics.

I will not sit idly by while public education is dismantled, and I would dearly love to be a significant part of the efforts to repair and rebuild it. If you want to see NC succeed, maybe you should consider applying for the Governor's Teacher Network too!

1 comment:

  1. Go for it! I can't think of a better person to do the job. :)