1. We need to stop make kids feel like adults know everything. I have learned more things from students than I can count on the fingers and toes of a room full of people. We need to acknowledge that their voice is important and start showcasing the ways their unique perspectives and understandings of the world around them.
2. We need to stop relying on tests to prove student learning. Tests are SO overrated to share what students have learned. Through writing reflections, self-created videos/technology projects, or simply by having a conversation with them, a different level of learning is noted. Why not give kids the benefit of the doubt? They are learning sometimes despite what we are putting them through.
3. This goes a bit with #2: We need to rethink tests. Tests can show if students can memorize information. Why would I want someone to memorize information and then forget it....especially since Google is there? I want to cultivate thinkers, problem-solvers, and out-of-the-box doers. I want tests to show what students KNOW...to celebrate their learning, not make them feel like unaccomplished individuals because their brain doesn't work the way the test does.
4. We need to stop ignoring the power of technology. The biggest advent of this century is the tablet. We need to put these more in the hands of students and support teachers to truly use these as the education revolution tools that they are. ALL students can be successful in showing what they know. It's the most powerful tool for giving students a voice and choice in their learning. It has transformed me as an educator and has truly cultivated a renewed sense of purpose for my profession.
5. We need to not be afraid of CHOICE. Choice is a powerful weapon in so many ways. When students are given choice in the classroom, miracles happen. You see geniuses emerge from stoic children. Everyone is special at something. When teachers allow for more choice projects, reading, books, miracles can happen. Just ask a student...well, heck, just ask anyone!