Review Reflect Redo

Week 32 (of 38) – April 29 to May 3, 2019

I don’t know if it’s because I’ve returned home to the Sunshine Coast or if it was the tail end of a long semester, but I have been in a place of sadnessĀ that I have not been able to shake. Last week was filled with cognitive and emotional anguish and this week was consumed by sadness, hopelessness, and feeling down. This is not like me. I’m normally the extroverted optimist. Lately, all that I have been wanting to do is lay-low and disconnect. I know that I am a lot stronger than this but wonder if I reached a tipping point. Sadly, I’ve been here before, which tells me that I still have a lesson to learn.

This week, I signed up to attend some pretty awesome edu-events… such the viewing of Secret Path in North Vancouver, EDvent2019 in Burnaby, and CAfLN Pre-Conference touring schools in Delta/Richmond. I could not do it. Aside from all the things I had to do, I just didn’t have the will to attend and gave my tickets away. The joy I get is knowing that someone else enjoyed the learning experience. I went to the #CAfLN19 conference because… I was presenting. Thank you to those who attended my session. It was definitely the “B-side” of my pedagogical journey with Assessment for Learning.

I will admit, I am not myself. I am actually standing beside myself. Going to CAfLN (Canadian Assessment for Learning Network) 2019 Conference was a blessing in disguise. I got to reunite with my teaching partner, Deb, from UNBC… I met some pretty incredible people in teacher education… and, I reunited with many edu-folks face-to-face from my Professional Learning Network (PLN). How can you not be lifted up? Furthermore, it was great to briefly chat with Lorna Earl, Ken O’Connor, Damien Cooper, Judy Halbert, and Linda Kaiser. You can’t ask for anything more? Oh wait, there was more. The students.

There was a student panel from School District No. 37 (Delta) who opened and closed the CAfLN19 Conference. They were talking about assessment. It was AMAZING. Truth telling, really. And this reminded my of my why for many years when I taught high school mathematics where I had embedded Assessment for Learning principles into my pedagogy so that we could focus on learning… and not the grade (even though the achieving a final grade was the summative EVENT, shall I say, of our learning experience). They were passionate and articulate. I resonated with their message and myth busting.

The Grade 10-12 students presented a model for learning: REVIEW, REFLECT, and REDO. They called it their “3 R’s.” I would also suspect that the cycle would begin with DO… then review, reflect, and redo. They left the conference delegates with this question. “Would you be here today, if you hadn’t been given a second chance?” Since the conference, I’ve been thinking about this question and their model for learning. Although I believe I implemented AFL well with my Math 8-12 students… and trying to implement with my teacher candidates… I don’t often give myself the opportunity for a second chance.

Let me clarify… I do believe in making mistakes, learning from mistakes, and having the opportunity to try again (if permitted or expected). That’s how people learn… me included. It’s situations where I do not believe a second chance is possible. Is this the time to be resilient and persistent? To what end? Can I go back? Am I suppose to go back? Do I want to go back? It’s not that I’m not able. I am. However, I think back to similar situations in my career and life where I made a big decision and family (and my self-care) was part of the equation. What if there was a second chance? Take it?

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