The whole of education is underpinned by the relationship between the teacher and pupil.
As the quote above from Sidney Hook states, you don’t remember how you were taught but you do remember who taught you and what an inspiration they were. You remember the relationship that you formed with your teacher – the personal connection between you that remains with you to this day.
Every pupil has their own personal learning journey.
Teachers have the power to inspire and encourage. Every step of the way, the pupil learns something new – guided and instructed by their teacher and so learn what motivates them, what inspires them and what they want to become as they become older. Over time, they will grow in knowledge, confidence and learn so much about themselves and the world around them.
Remember these wonderful and true words from Ross Crockett..
“If there’s anyone who is in a position to bring positive change into the world every day, its a teacher. Don’t ever think that your efforts as a teacher are insignificant and make no difference. There is no telling what positive effect you will have on someone’s life, especially a students. Be Brave, Stay passionate about your kids and your work, and don’t give up – ever!”Ross Crockett, Global Digital Citizen Foundation
Assessment FOR LEARNING
Assessment seems to have got a bad name recently with the high stakes of performance tables and published results. We do seem to have created a world where any results mean judgement rather than a tool for improvement. In all phases of education, it seems the curriculum had been affected with all eyes focused on the national “assessment” at the end of the year.
However, all the best teaching uses assessment for learning purposes to enable staff to build up knowledge of what each pupil needs and requires moving forward.
- By looking at what your pupils know, you can see how to push them further onto higher levels.
- By seeing the gaps, you can work to close them with each individual in their own way.
- By gazing back at previous results, you can create a new and differentiated curriculum for the future – purchasing resources to make the marginal gains.
All research has shown that pupils learn at different rates and will respond differently to different tasks. Assessment enables teachers to be in a position of knowledge and able to focus in on the needs of each of their pupils regardless of the appearance (or not) of examinations later in the year. You can use old papers as a baseline without needing an examination to prepare for. The results and analysis within could really help teachers in the classroom now.
Let’s reclaim assessment for learning and create a personal learning journey for every pupil to help them realise their potential.
This is especially relevant this year. We have all been through a different time with school closures. lockdown rules and more imposed on us. Huge strides in online education were made in months that perhaps previously would have taken years. Teachers have created learning packs, online lessons and updated communication systems – rising to the challenge of how to educate their pupils without the the essential face-to-face contact and personal interaction.
As the IFS stated in their opinion piece..
Schools, teachers and charities – not to mention parents – have gone to huge efforts to do what they can, but there is no substitute for time with a qualified teacher.https://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/15291
All our pupils will have unknown issues from lockdown. Some will have been challenged, others empowered. Some will have thrived, others not. Depending on your school and catchment, some will be able to pick up learning, others will have stopped and will need to be re-integrated back into a school way of working with its rules and integral dynamics.
More than ever, we will need to learn about where our pupils are and create a personal learning journey for each of them.
We need to begin the journey where they are, understand and get to know them once more and enable them to pick up their learning at a point that is right for them… but then we will need to do assessments to place the teachers in a true position of knowledge and the right place to work with each of their pupils.
It is our job as educators to strive for the very best for our pupils and to teach them the full curriculum to the best of our and their ability to enable them to succeed in later life. This is not a time to cut corners and miss parts out. This is the time to focus on each child more closely and enable them to continue to realise their true potential – regardless of school closures, covid-19 or any changes to the usual routine.
We must not allow ourselves to expect less of them in the long run because of the situation of Covid-19.
“Every child deserves a champion, an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.”Rita Pearson
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