Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.
~ Alexander Graham Bell
As I participated in this evening’s “edchat” conversation on Twitter (related to summative assessments), I found myself reflecting on the importance of maintaining our focus in education. There was a substantial amount of discussion about the goal of student assessment and the fact that, in many cases, assessment has become more about a grade than guiding instruction. This notion has also arisen recently in conversations I have had with colleagues about the purpose of homework and the importance of providing students with meaningful assignments.
As proud practitioners of education, it is relatively easy to let our ego creep into decisions we make without giving careful consideration to what is in the best interest of our students. Whether we are talking about assessment, homework, school reform, discipline or any other aspect of the educational process, we need to reflect and maintain our focus. What is our purpose? What is in the best interest of our students? Education is about the kids – not the adults involved in the process. As professionals in the field, we need to be sure that students remain the focus, in spite of numerous obstacles and distractions.
Seems easy, but it may be one of our most significant challenges. Stay the course.