I am attending a local educational conference today and tomorrow. It’s my time to learn instead of being pulled in 10 different directions all day.
I attended four great sessions today, most of them focused on instruction in some way–social studies standards, foundational skills in reading, instructional coaching, and MTSS. The one common theme that kept coming back in each session was this:
If teachers don’t change what they do with students, students won’t improve. Sure, students may do just fine without any instructional changes, but we need kids to grow, not maintain. That’s why changes have been made to standards to include inquiry and performance rather than just rote memorization. That’s why standards have been written to address specific fundamental skills students must master in order to grow as readers. That’s why instructional coaches have become common in schools to help teachers grow in their own practices. That’s why we have systems in place now to support students who may struggle rather than let them sink or swim.
We want students to grow. Not maintain.