(warning: *rant* on learning targets!)
Do you realize what you’re trying to make me do?
Every day, I am supposed to write separate learning targets on the wall for each different class I teach. Per your leadership, these learning targets must be:
1. Written with higher order thinking skills in mind, such as Blooms Taxonomy (per Assistant Principal #1) (this is fine)
2. Written with the way students will do the task to align for ELLS – such as “through writing” or “through speaking,” etc. per ELL Professional Development training over the summer. (OK I can do this but is it really necessary? Will it help kids learn better? This seems to be designed to give teachers a way of keeping track of their ELL accommodations more than actually helping students learn.)
3. Have to be re-written statements from the Virginia State Standards. We don’t want any “fluff” in the education of our students. Even though the Virginia State standards don’t necessarily cover everything on the end of year test my students are required to give. (per AP 2) (this is ridiculous and gets in the way of instruction)
4. Have to be “I Can” statements, not “Student will be able to…” (ok, no prob)
5. Have to be written on the wall for that day only. I am not allowed to keep the previous learning targets on the wall, from previous classes, because that might confuse students about what they are learning for the day. I am not allowed to pass out a piece of paper that lists the learning targets at the top as the sole source; they have to written on the board in plain sight. (this is ridiculous)
6. I cannot write on the wall in 3 out of the 4 classrooms I share. One is missing a white board or chalk board. Two of the four classrooms are shared with other teachers who take up the entire board for their own learning targets, and there is no room for me to write on the board as well. I could put the learning targets on a powerpoint and project it, but cannot login to the computer in time to get this up before class starts. I have at least one teacher who doesn’t allow me to get into their class until after the bell has rung, even though they don’t need the computer the last five minutes of class. This is ridiculous!
7. I’m discouraged from creating a poster and laminating it. That’s too systematic; I must write it on the wall for that day.
8. I keep hearing about using the word “mastery” – are we supposed to do this too?
I am totally cool with everything except having to do #1 – 5 with the problems of #6.
Except #5. That’s ridiculous. I should be able to leave learning targets up on the wall after I’ve taught them, so we can review. I should be able to pass it out on a piece of paper if I can’t write on the wall or there is no wipe board. Ridiculous!
I just wanted you to know, it is unreasonable to ask this of teachers given the limitations of board space and efficient technology.
The Teacher Letter (anonymous)