My husband once called me Queen Pitch from the Land of Throwaway. I was not offended by this nickname. In fact, I sort of pride myself on being able to purge...my files, my classroom, my closet, the fridge, the pantry, you name it. I'm also a chronic deleter of emails, texts, and digital photos on my phone. (I guess you could say I live up to the nickname quite well.)
This gets me thinking... Are there ways in which we teachers can purge and purify our instructional practices? In other words, what needs to go? What is no longer useful and not beneficial to our students?
One instructional practice that I purged this school year is giving students hard copies of things that they can view online or on our Google Classroom. If a student truly needs whatever it is in their hands, then he/she can print out a copy. By being more selective with my handouts and utilizing Google Classroom, I've lessened my workload and reduced the litter in my classroom recycle bin. I know that my students appreciate not being flooded with paperwork, and I'm sure my district appreciates my frugal use of copy paper.
Another instructional practice that I've eliminated is assigning homework. I like to think that my students are receiving a wholesome, challenging education and that we capitalize on (almost) every minute of our learning time together. I know my students have lives outside of school, and I choose to respect their time by not assigning homework for the rest of this school year. By adopting a no-homework rule, I have given my students (and their families) the gift of time...time to do what kids and parents need to do in the evening.
One last instructional practice that I've purified is how I assess learning. Instead of grading nearly every assignment I give, I've honed in on what's essential and what assessment "could" be. I've stripped away from my lessons the typical pencil-paper assessments, and I've allowed for choice and variety in how my students demonstrate what they've learned. The favorite this school year is creating quick Kahoot quizzes. My students create them, and we "play" them. (They don't even realize they're being assessed. So sneaky, right?)
Reflect on your own practices, and seek out ways to purge, pitch, and purify what you and your students are doing. The "Queen" decrees it.
My name is