Focus on the Outcomes

I received an email this morning that I needed to choose my daughter’s mode of instruction for the 2020-2021 school year by July 10th. (Arizona starts early and the district is on a modified year-round schedule). I froze.

Like me, most people are going into this next school year wondering what in the hell they are going to do. Although I am not in the classroom this year, I am working with teachers and the feelings of uncertainty are overwhelming as things seem to change daily.

I’ve been working on learning daily, and I was fortunate to attend a webinar provided by the Arizona K12 Center with Ted Dintersmith. I have yet to read his book (it’s in the mail and I cannot wait to read it) but I was blown away in the 2 hours we were together.

The one thing that stuck with me was we need to create bold and new ideas for fall. How do we look at what outcomes we want for our AP Government students? The test is not the outcome because as we’ve learned this year, it can change. Tests should NEVER be the outcome because they are not a measure of authentic learning. How often do you think about doing something different or talk about it with a friend or colleague, but never do them? What do we WANT assessment to look like? Speaking from experience, my classes were never test-focused, whether it was a unit test or the AP test. It was focused on creating citizens that will go out and be productive. It wasn’t perfect, but it allowed all kids to be a part of their learning.

Luckily, we are given outcomes in the CED, and this year, you get the ability to make bold changes to get your students to take on real and authentic challenges, even if you are remote. YOU are the expert in your classroom and with your kids.

My challenge for you is to focus on the outcomes. Reflect on what you have already been doing and what has transpired over the course of the changes in education in response to the pandemic. Do not compare yourself with other AP Government teachers. We all have different classrooms and different situations. When things get rough, shift the focus back to the outcomes you want. Write them down. Post them somewhere.

Take some time to reflect, take inventory of what you need to be successful, and start researching. If you don’t know where to start, I created a post for that.

I’ve created a lot of posts that can easily be transitioned from in-person to online and invite you to use the search bar to browse around. I am not focused on a textbook (because I am not a fan) but instead focused on the world and resources around us.

And even though I’m not in the classroom this year, I am still creating content for teachers and luckily my husband is still in the classroom and will keep me grounded or try out my ideas and give feedback before I post.

I’m always looking for guest posts or ideas! Feel free to contact me!

We’ve got this. It’s going to be different, overwhelming at times, but it’s doable.

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