My reflections so far on this process are that it is going to be really hard. These students are used to taking test, they are not used to researching and presenting projects to a class. When I think back on my college experience, nearly every single one my classes had a project and presentation component. This is a skill students need to develop, and not just for college. Knowing how to articulate your ideas to others is a huge part of being successful at anything. I just do not exactly know how I will teach them this skill. Put up a math problem on the board and I can break it down, explain it and get students to an 80% mastery, but how to scaffold back presentation skills, I'm lost. The more I think about that, the more upset I am. Why is it that all of my training has been on a test? Why have I not received more training on how to develop or plan for student skills beyond the test? When I think back to every conversation I have about my classroom, units, or students actions, it always comes back to data on a test. We can say we are not just teaching to a test, but how many core content teachers use assessments besides tests in their classes? Not many. Why? Because for a lot of teacher we are not supported to or do not know how to plan for anything but a test.
I will have data this year, it is just not test based so my planning, my reflections, and my interventions are going to be very different. I am looking forward to the year, to this challenge, and how I will grow my teaching practice. I just wish this wasn't a solo process.