tinker with text
Literacy-Based Maker Education
I love this quote by Maya Angelou: "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” (italics mine) Granted, sometimes it is misquoted and used in the wrong way, but let's just take a minute to absorb the enormity of that statement.
In my first year as a teacher, my Dad gave me similar advice. It wasn't going well and after one tearful phone conversation, he told me to hold my head up high and tell myself, "I'm doing the best I can, and I'm going to get better." (Wow! Growth mindset in the 80's!) I've tried to live by that advice ever since.
This year, I ventured into the world of literacy-based makerspace within my reading intervention program. There's been hills and valleys, for sure. Now, as I wrap up the term and do my assessment and reporting, I've had to take a hard look at how I've done this in the past. In essence, I did the best I could but now I know better. I still have to do assessments as a requirement for my job, but I do have a choice in how I relay that information to parents. Do they really need to hear or see how far behind their child is yet again? This way of reporting, that includes charts full of percentiles and pre/post test scores and pages of commentary, doesn't fit within my educational philosophy anymore. It doesn't fit me.
And so, while I have known better for a while now, I've decided to also do better. I've designed this new reporting template and have integrated the Core Competencies, First Peoples Principles of Learning, and Digital Literacy. I've also tried to build it around my theme of "tinkering with text." In a sense, I'm tinkering with my own words as I seek be to more empathic in my reporting. I'm thankful that I live in this province and am teaching at a time where this flexibility in reporting is not only acceptable but encouraged.
If you are a specialist teacher (LAT, Resource, ELL, RTI, etc.) and do not have to use a specific district or ministry report template, feel free to download my template (below) and make it your own. Make it fit your pedagogical beliefs and practices, reflect your community, and serve your students and parents in the best way possible.
Vicki Den Ouden is an Elementary Reading Intervention Teacher from BC, Canada. She loves to dream, learn, teach, and create.