Now, however, our superintendent is loosening restraints on teachers and students. Dr. Ridder wants to empower, not control, understanding the common sense ideas that teachers are supposedly educated in the methods and content that they teach, that teachers are the "tip of the spear" in the war against ignorance and complacency.
It's refreshing to see common sense overcoming all of the emphasis over Common Core and all of its accouterments.
The more I get up to speed with Continuous Improvement, the more I see myself in it. In fact, this is part of how I would lead a team of teachers to create lessons and special events for students. After everything we try, I would conduct a debriefing to change or get rid of the things that went wrong, and evaluate all of the things that went right to see if they could be improved. There's even a possibility that our lesson or event should be wholly replaced.
Through the years I have tried and retried some tried and true methods (things that work for some teachers). I quickly discovered that I have to recreate most things to make them fit into my eclectic classroom. I've been known to scrap some lessons altogether, never to approach them in the same way again. I've also been known to stick with the things that work, tweaking them every time to enhance the experiment. Often former students don't understand why the next year's class gets to do something that they didn't; what they fail to understand is that they got to do things their predecessors didn't. In the 21 years I have taught fourth graders, every year is different, apparently because I've subscribed to a common sense methodology that I didn't even know existed until this year.
I don't pretend to know everything about this profession - it would be a lot easier if I did - but it's nice to receive some confirmation that I understand what I've been saying. Of course, understanding doesn't always mean it's easy to implement, but alas, we continue to try to improve. I'm sure we'll be hearing more about Continuous Improvement in the coming months.