I am sure this is not a title you would expect to read in this blog, but I think it is very important to address this issue that has arisen for many of my fellows. With all of the instructional shifts, grading practices and new curriculum we are attempting this year, we need to realize that both teachers and students are going to struggle! Don't be too hard on yourself when you are not getting the results from students you expected. And please do not be too hard on the students since they are trying to figure out how to model, create and explain their understandings in writing using new techniques they may have never attempted before. Assume that we are all doing the best we can at the moment, and that students and teachers will all be better at this next year!
Cari WIlliams is a Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) for the Tustin Unified School District in Southern California. She holds a MS in Instructional Design and Technology from Cal State Fullerton and works on the side as a consultant writing science and STEAM curriculum and training teachers. After working for 12 years in the classroom as a middle school science and STEAM teacher, she transitioned into the role of Digital Learning Coach in 2013. In this role, Cari helped teachers innovate curriculum and shift pedagogies through the integration of educational technologies and practices found within the NGSS. Her most current work as a TOSA is focused on engineering design in robotics, computer science, and makerspaces. She is an official VEX Robotics event partner hosting tournaments for teams from around Southern California as well as leading 28 robotics programs servicing over 100 teams in the Tustin Unified School District. Although her expertise has taken her deep into STEAM education, she remains passionate and engaged in helping teachers transition to the NGSS through participating as a Science Peer Review Panelist for Achieve and acting as a Professional Learning Facilitator and Instructional Coach in-training for NSTA.