Lessons from the Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

photo: sistersrunningthekitchen.com

Today marks the 2012 Boston Marathon, with Wesley Korir winning with a time of 2:12.40.  Just the idea of running that far seems insurmountable to me.  During our morning staff meeting today, I got the feeling that many of the teachers in my district felt as thought they had been signed up for today’s marathon with no advanced warning or training.

Today marked a big day in our district:  We handed out the new Certified Teacher Evaluation Instrument to our Certified Staff.  Responses varied from mad (legs crossed, arms folded with a scowl), to panicked (“I can tell you right now, I’m already losing sleep!”), to everywhere in between, including those teachers we all love who just roll with the flow and do what it takes to educate kids.

We moved from our old tool, which rated on two levels, Meets and Does Not Meet, to the Danielson Framework which includes a comprehensive, 4-column rubric in four domains.

I think what people are beginning to notice is that success with this framework requires a whole new way of thinking.  As someone on Twitter so succinctly tweeted, it’s not ‘this is what we’re going to do today!’ it’s ‘what do you want to learn today?’.

Making students responsible for their own learning is a huge paradigm shift in the teaching world.  But now that our district has been shown the big picture, and where we need to be as student-centered educators, it will just be a matter of breaking it down into little, bite-sized morsels.

We’ve been given our 26.2 mile route map, and we need to get from the starting point to the finish line. We can do this.  We NEED to do this.

Even a marathon starts with just one step.

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One comment on “Lessons from the Boston Marathon

  1. Tom Whitford says:

    Great post! We are starting our Danielson model for Evals as well. We have been working with a team of teachers since September 2011. We looked at Marzano & Danielson, but in December found out that the state decided for us. So, Danielson it is! Then it was a matter of educating staff about the Danielson model and how it will look. Just learned about an online tool we can use today! Should be a good but challenging change.

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