Dealing with the fear of being a boring teacher.



My TEDx talk is persistently linked over in the sidebar, if you’ve got a few minutes, check it out. If not, well, umm, I try to be funny…?

It’s really easy to put a suit jacket on and put up some fancy slides. It’s a lot harder to actually plan out a day-t0-day mission to match that vision. I’m really trying to model for my students how to enact change that you know must happen.

In short, here’s my vision:

  • Teaching one, behemoth curriculum is not going to work as the amount of knowledge increase without bound. We’re going to have to delve students into the world of how-to-figure-stuff-out in a much richer way than we are now. We’re going to have to force students to go beyond Google’s first page of hits, and really teach them to follow the narrative arc of an inquiry to the point where it results in something new that’s worth sharing beyond the walls of their school building. To me, this looks like open schedules with hyper-psychotic project-based learning.
  • Second, I am absolutely, 100%, totally, and summarily finished with the use of grades as punishments and motivation in the world of education. Students need to learn to self-assess, and this is only done by talking thoughtfully with someone who has more experience. This is formative assessment gone wild, and I’m here to tame the West.

I’m tackling my issues with grading and assessment first. The solution is called BlueHarvest, and it’s designed to streamline, organize, and enable feedback between students, parents, and teachers.

Here’s a list of the blog posts as I keep track of the mayhem: