My unofficial research topic this year is not complicated, or nuanced: I am concentrating on the changes I observe in the achievement of my students when I focus, in an intentional, specific way on increasing that achievement.
Of course I could argue I’ve been working for student achievement each year, every year of my teaching career. After all, if not for student achievement, why are we here?
Well, I can point to things that have distracted me over the years:
1. a lack of understanding about learning disabilities and effective teaching strategies
2. a worry that watering down the basic curriculum was the only way to approach my students’ difficulty learning
3. an isolation (mostly self-imposed) from my general education peers that kept me from learning (deeply) about content and new ideas fostered by the county
4. an arrogance that let me believe my ability to help children with their emotional disabilities was enough
What is different about this year? That’s for tomorrow’s post. For now, I’m off to bed. Unofficial research is indeed exhausting….