Category Archives: Planning

My Path to Proficiency: A Travel Journal
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My Path to Proficiency: A Travel Journal

The thing about embarking down the Path to Proficiency is that there isn’t just one single path you have to take.  When I first began my journey towards proficiency, I found myself often looking to others further along the trek than me and asking them for directions. I knew that I couldn’t implement everything I […]

Enough is as good as a feast.
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Enough is as good as a feast.

Yes.  I’ll admit it.  I’m a nerd. A big one. I’ll own it.  Grammar really gets me going.  Word origin, homophones, rhetorical devices and literary analysis excite me.  Old AP fill-ins were a challenging game I played against myself.  The Académie Française has nothing on me! (You French teachers know what I mean!) I won’t ask […]

Get in the Game: Let’s Talk About Stations
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Get in the Game: Let’s Talk About Stations

Hello, and Happy Spring! I just got back from the SCOLT conference for the 2nd time ever, and this time I got to present!  So this post, fair warning, is going to be partly about my process of submitting and doing a presentation, and the other part about the actual stations presentation as it happened. […]

Focus on the right things
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Focus on the right things

As a teacher, it is so easy to focus on everything I’m doing wrong: Have I graded that batch of tests yet? Have I planned enough activities to fill the hour? Have I contacted all the parents I needed to? Do I have enough grades? Did I get in that announcement on time? A lot […]

Holding Myself Accountable
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Holding Myself Accountable

In October, I laid out here the goals I set in the summer and, motivated by Alyssa Villareal’s fall post, committed to reporting back and holding myself accountable to them. This fall, without going down the rabbit hole of politics, I’ve found myself struggling to stay on my path and focus on teaching–as I have […]

But first, let me take a selfie…
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But first, let me take a selfie…

… as in, a self-assessment, on proficiency. Ask yourself: “What exactly do I know about the levels and what they look like? Can I explain it to students, and/or parents? Can I hear, read, and observe examples and then rate them?” For me, a lot of work went into the paradigm shift that is proficiency-based teaching, […]

Comparison: Challenging Tool or Thief of Joy?
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Comparison: Challenging Tool or Thief of Joy?

Have you ever had someone say something so startling that, in an instant, their words seem to smack you in the face with a reality check? I recently had one of those moments: an abrupt and much-needed a-ha! moment, that reminded me to be my best teacher self, I need to give myself grace and keep it all in […]

When Too Much is…Too Much (Stay on the Path!)
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When Too Much is…Too Much (Stay on the Path!)

Boy did I need Alyssa Villarreal’s recent post last fall–I was great about setting goals, but they were too many and too big! I spent the school year spinning, working non-stop and on the verge of burnout.   What followed was a summer spent recovering from my near burnout crash–with no work, no PD (I’m happy […]

Focusing on the Long Haul
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Focusing on the Long Haul

In thinking about assessing proficiency and growth as I approach the end of the year, I sometimes feel overwhelmed and a bit of self-inflicted pressure. Since making the switch to teaching for proficiency, I’ve come to understand the importance of assessment and feedback like never before.  I am greatly influenced and inspired by the wonderful […]

Reflection … Finding Time in The Crunch
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Reflection … Finding Time in The Crunch

There was a time not long ago that I would write a week’s worth of lesson plans at a time. On Friday I sat down (with my textbook teacher’s edition) and planned out the next week’s lessons, pulling the support materials, and then following the set plan.  Since making the shift to teaching for proficiency, […]