Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Life Long Learners


When a student hands in a piece of work that we deem unacceptable do we throw that work in the trash and tell him it was no good or do we go over it with him point out any parts that are acceptable and correct the parts that need correction? I hope as educators we do the latter as the only way to learn from our mistakes is to see them.

Stupid me volunteered to write the geometry final. Supposedly three teachers did not like the final, they said it was too easy. When I asked which teachers, I was told "they don't want you to know." I was told, "You always need an answer. You can never let things rest." When I asked what exactly was wrong, so I would know how to do things in the future, I was told, "I don't know, I am not teaching this course this term."

Not being a shrinking violet, I asked every teacher teaching the course what the problem with the exam was until I found the ones that had the problem. Neither one minded that I knew it was them. Neither one had any problem going over the exam with me and pointing out problems they would like changed and we also discussed how to change them.

I made a few changes and plan on using this exam in my own class this week. I made the changes because the things they suggested were right on target. I had no problem with the criticisms of the exam, in fact, I appreciate it. I am a life long learner. I do however have a big problem with the way the criticism was presented to me. I go back to the first paragraph of this post:

When a student hands in a piece of work that we deem unacceptable do we throw that work in the trash and tell him it was no good or do we go over it with him point out any parts that are acceptable and correct the parts that need correction? I hope as educators we do the latter as the only way to learn from our mistakes is to see them.

As teachers, aren't we entitled to the same treatment? I was going to make an issue about this but a colleague of mine said "Forget it. They don't like your exam, think about all the time you will save by not writing the short answers. Take your exam back and chalk this up to experience." I blew off my steam here and I am going to follow her advice. There will be no fireworks going off.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

There are various tenets one must follow when working for the DOE (archived from old BOE-era sayings):

No good deed goes unpunished

The more you work, the more you work

Administrators are not here to help us

Pissed Off said...

I know that all to well and live by it.

I wrote the exam to give my class the edge and that is the way it is going to stay. At this point, the others can do whatever they want. Let them make my AP as happy as he makes them.