Big Little Thing #2: Marry the Percentages till Death do you part

When schools (or businesses) brag about percentage increases, I always think:
“You'll regret the day you take this course of action.”

For example, Flat Classroom projects have sustained a 300% growth rate of project participants for the past few years but we stopped counting. Why? It just isn't sustainable. In the first year we had 23 students, then over 100, now over 3000 a semester just six years later.

The larger question should remain: are students learning? Are we helping teachers transform and improve their practice? The focus isn't the numbers for us. Children aren't numbers. Teachers aren't either. If we work passionately hard to help every child and classroom connect effectively then, IF THE TEACHER is willing to put in the effort, then we will accomplish something.

When you start talking about percentage increases, you'll reach a brick wall at some point and you'll kick yourself, especially when dealing with test scores which have a natural ceiling.

Additionally, if you look at how testing companies make their money, they make more money when kids have lower test scores because then their “official preparatory” content is needed. By nature, not everyone can be at the 100th percentile but they also know that educators and parents won't be happy until 100% of the kids are at the 100th percentile.

Percentages are the devil.

Big Little Thing #1: The student bathroom

Photo credit: Big Stock

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere