I think I would burn out as a teacher, start to hate teaching, and give up on a potentially fulfilling career if I never got any feedback/constructive criticism. If I never got any feedback, I’d probably teach the same lesson, on the same day, year after year to a different batch of students, never improving my lesson, just mundanely giving my students the same info every year. In the TED talk, Gates says that over 98% of teachers got one word of feedback every year: Satisfactory. This NEEDS to change.
I’m the type of person who likes progress and improvement. I love to get better at whatever I’m passionate about, which includes sports, music, and teaching. The only way I can improve my teaching is to get feedback on my practice. Luckily, I feel that teacher assessment is finally changing and gaining public importance, which will make our education system fairer to students and teachers, and it will put America back in the leading position for education.
In the video, I learned that the USA is tied for 15th in reading proficiency with Iceland and Poland. I would have never thought that the USA would be out of the top 10 in any subject of education. It’s crazy to me that teacher feedback is just gaining importance now because data has shown that 11 of the 14 countries ahead of the USA in reading proficiency has nation-wide teacher feedback systems. In the Shanghai province, the leading area of reading proficiency, new teachers shadow proven, experienced teachers, teachers have weekly meetings where they discuss valuable teaching strategies, and teachers go into each others classrooms to evaluate and give feedback. I think this feedback system relates to and explains a statistic we talked about in class, that there are as many honor students in China as there are students in America.
This system in Shanghai seems to be working and meeting the goal the USA has, to make our average teachers as good as our best teachers. When we look at our best teachers, there’s a couple of similarities; These teachers asked challenging questions, they taught lessons in multiple formats, and they allowed students to display their knowledge in multitude of ways. This ties into our reading for the week on UDL, where there are 3 main goals (which the best teachers exemplified): Having multiple means of representation, multiple means of action and expression, and multiple means of engagement. To summarize this idea, teachers must incorporate a variety of ways of teaching to engage all their students. Here’s a great video I watched on the importance of UDL.
Lastly, I really liked what the example teacher from the TED talk did in her classroom. It seems so simple to put a video camera in the corner of your room every couple of weeks to see your teaching from a different point of view, but I’ve never met a teacher who’s done this. It seems like it would be really beneficial to the goal of becoming a better teacher everyday. I will definitely use a video camera in my classroom to improve my teaching.