Markita Proctor, Full Release Coach, Kentucky
I think that’s one thing that we have to always remember that students are at the center of this work. If we didn’t have students, we wouldn’t have this work. So, every student is different. Every group of students are different. When I talk to teachers and they say, well, my first period did this and my second period did this. Then you have to think at the middle school level, you have to think that’s because you had different students there. And that’s one thing that I try to get them to look at. And I think the analyzing student learning and knowing the student learning tools really do help you get into where the students are. Having those conversations with teachers at the beginning – and I tried to do it knowing the students tool, twice this year as the beginning of the year and about midway through. And I would’ve liked to have done it at the end, but testing was so weird and we just didn’t get to.
Listening to those teachers, talk about those students in way that just proves that they know them. I think that was important. And when they talk about teaching, it’s not just teaching content, it’s teaching kids and they look at what those kids need. I think a good teacher, and I saw this this year, doesn’t just talk about teaching English or teaching math or teaching science, they’re teaching kids. And so when they think about, well, I had this one kid and I know she knows it. I had this conversation with, an eighth grade math teacher. She goes, I know she knows it. And we had this conversation about assessing that student’s learning. And, she ended up doing an oral assessment, just had a conversation with this child about the test. And she was able to really dig in and see what the child knew and what she didn’t know. And it would not have happened had she just been, “well, I gave a test and she didn’t pass it.” So she was able to stop and think about that student, not just the test and not just the content. And I think too often teachers get caught up in, well, I’m an English teacher and I think they need to start thinking in terms of, I teach English to kids instead of I’m an English teacher or math teacher or science teacher.