When I think about significant 2016 innovations, I’m mostly looking to September. In the spring I might dabble with something new, like when I tried asynchronous flipping last June (with fairly disappointing results). My colleague and I plan to try more skill-based video lessons this winter to teach historical thinking techniques, but that’s not a major substantive change in our teaching.
The big change I have been considering is aligning my grading policy more effectively with flipped mastery. I’m not really satisfied with my assessment-scoring system, although I still believe in the importance of accountability. Standard-based grading is one possible direction. Another colleague in the district successfully petitioned to implement portfolio grades last year. 35% of my student population has a documented disability, and next year’s crew has even more intensive needs. That’s a major consideration for any changes I need to make -- special education support staff need understanding & easy implementation for modifications and accommodations.
Sometimes we just have to keep on keeping on. If I second-guess and rejigger too many things, then I’ll take my eye off the ball and flounder in my teaching this year. Pop quiz: How many of those links have you clicked and/or want to click?? Exactly. The grass always seems greener elsewhere (link not provided), and sometimes you just gotta dig in and stay the course. If you really know me, you'll understand how ironic that advice really is.