"Schools work better for adults than they work for kids. We need to work harder to make schools work for kids." Eric Sheninger

How we can stop TEACHING TO THE TEST and start empowering learning (for a change)

Uncommon Learning Eric Sheninger

I'm sick and tired of excuses. Everyone makes them but the biggest, most obnoxious dumbest excuse we've adopted is “we have to prepare kids for THE TEST.” Sure the test has become a reality. But with so many people seeing the schools KILL THE LOVE OF LEARNING so we can help kids memorize rote facts for a TEST — why isn't more happening to CHANGE THINGS? Schools know we can do better but why do schools still do the same old things that didn't work last time? Parents see it too! Two thirds of US parents agreeing that there's too much emphasis on testing. It is time to shift.

Essential Questions: Uncommon Learning: Creating Schools that Work for Kids

  • What DOESN'T work in education?
  • How can we let go of control and still prepare kids for life?
  • How we should evaluate our schools?
  • What is it going to take to help schools focus on learning and not testing?
  • How do you help teachers who refuse to learn new things or are so burnt out and tired they don't want to join informal learning?

[callout]When society looks back on us in a hundred years will we be seen as a people who did what is right even though it is hard? Or will we be seen as a people who make excuses to do the wrong thing because we're tired? May it not be! Change is hard but it is for our kids. It is worth it! Keep them the center! Focus on learning! We can all level up learning! [/callout]

Educator Resources from this Episode

If something is important to us, we find a way. If not, then we'll always find an excuse. Eric Sheninger

If something is important to us, we find a way. If not, then we'll always find an excuse. Eric Sheninger

"Schools work better for adults than they work for kids. We need to work harder to make schools work for kids." Eric Sheninger

“Schools work better for adults than they work for kids.
We need to work harder to make schools work for kids.” Eric Sheninger

When society looks back on us in 100 years... Will we be seen as people who do what is right even though it is hard? Or will we be seen as people who make excuses to do the wrong thing because we're tired?

When society looks back on us in 100 years…
Will we be seen as people who do what is right even though it is hard?
Or will we be seen as people who make excuses to do the wrong thing because we're tired? Vicki Davis

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[callout]You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or elsewhere, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above.button-itunes[/callout]

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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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2 comments

Ms. M November 18, 2015 - 7:46 am

Vicki! I love all that you publish and talk about – thank you!!! I’m going crazy because I need some input from someone else… Colleagues at my school are using a point system from ClassDojo to reward kids that “are working”. Points are displayed on the SMARTboard for everyone to see in the room. I cannot use this kind of old-fashioned management tool as I think it is in the past and has no relevance (as kids aren’t talked to about their behaviour and neither are the parents as all they get in the email is “how many points their kid has”). Do you know this website? What is your professional take on this?
Thank you so much,
M

Reply
Vicki Davis November 18, 2015 - 4:09 pm

Yes. It depends on how you use it. I have all kinds of concerns about showing this up on the board and the type of “behavior management” this represents. Full disclosure, I have written some blog posts for Class Dojo. If you look it up, you will see many who have concerns about using it in this way. But showing points on the board like this should never happen!! I don’t think it is healthy or good teaching!

Reply

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