Schooling Magazine

Make It Your Own

By Mrsebiology @mrsebiology
It doesn't make sense to deconstruct standards into your own student-friendly objectives and then use some pre-packaged purchased curriculum to teach those objectives.  The companies that make that pre-packaged stuff don't have your students' specific needs in mind.  They have selling their stuff as their bottom line, no matter how much research they throw at you in their sales pitch.
It doesn't make sense to not work at trying something new because you may have to change it the next year or the year after to meet differing student needs. Trying and changing and trying and changing are how we grow as professionals - and how we meet the differing needs of our students from year to year.  In my years of teaching not once did I ever have a group of students that ever had the same needs as the ones I taught in previous years, and I had to adjust my instructional methods accordingly.  Remember that it's our job to teach all of the students in front of us, not just the ones that can learn using the methods we prefer.
It doesn't make sense to not change what you do in your classroom because it's been working for you for years.  It's been working for you, but has it been working for all those different students that have been marking time in your classroom?
It doesn't make sense to not try something new because no surrounding schools are doing it.  If it's based on what's known to be good for kids, go for it - and understand that the path to making it the best it can be is going to be messy and nonlinear. Do what's best for your students, not some other district's students. As this post says, be a blueprint - not a copy.  Let's make our own way and then look at other districts when we need to do that.
It doesn't make sense to not do what's good for students because the community doesn't understand why you're doing it.  What's best practice in education has changed since a lot of people today went through school, and it's our job to educate them and promote understanding rather the divisiveness and misunderstanding.
What does make sense is to make what you do your own in terms of what's good for your students. There are few things more disturbing to me than giving teachers permission to do what's best for our students just because the fear of doing something nontraditional (but in line with current best practice) is stopping them or the fear of deviating from what's in the textbook series is not allowing them to develop a more aligned curriculum that has more of what those students sitting in front of them actually need.  
Like the tagline of this blog says, just do what makes sense for your students.  Even if people think you're crazy.  

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