Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My Year with Standards Based Grading (part 1)

I had big plans. I was ready and rarin' to go. I had a shiny new blog to talk about my shiny new grading system.

I made it to October. After that, blogging always got pushed off as other, more immediate, things came up. 

This is the last post I started:

"Several things are spinning in my head as I think about how this new grading system is working. I'm not thrilled with how I go about grading the quizzes, because of how long it takes. I struggle" 

I can't remember how I was going to finish that last sentence, but I think it sums up my year as it stands. I struggled. I chose to try a whole new grading system while I was still working on my masters degree, and I'm still not sure if it was a wise choice. Balancing my time between work, school and family is hard normally. Changing my classes into SBG classes was like adding a 4th ball before I'd really learned to juggle 3. On the other hand, I was unhappy with what I'd been doing. The philosophy of SBG clicked with me. I was happy and excited with my planned structure. There was an overall sense of change and growth in our upper school because we had created a think tank of faculty to determine how we needed to change our school and curriculum for the future so that we would be competitive and meeting our students' needs. It seemed like it was the right time to revamp my classes. I'm not sure that I could have waited 2 more years until I finished my degree to implement these changes. I wonder if I wouldn't have lost my drive and excitement in that time. 

Really, though, the question of "should" or "should not" is a moot point now. I did; it was hard, and now I'm making the time to reflect on it. 

I know I did one thing right. Whenever I thought of something I should write about, I scribbled a quick note on a slip of paper and set it aside on my desk. It's time to turn those prompts into real posts.