When Innovation & Best Practice Collide

The Rubik’s Cube — who didn’t have one when it was all the rage back in the 1980s?  What an innovation — certainly one of most unique puzzles or toys I had as a youth!

rubiks cube 2As the story goes, Hungarian sculptor and professor Ernő Rubik invented the device to teach his students about the mechanics behind 3D movable parts.  He soon discovered that he had a pretty cool toy on his hands and with that impetus, the Rubik’s Cube made it’s international debut at some European toy fairs in early 1980.  With sales at over 350 million units to date it is widely assumed to be the world’s top selling puzzle game … ever!

If toy stores had not decided to take a chance on this innovative new toy we never would have had been enamored with its unique challenge.

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What About Resilience, Kindness and Courage?

I found the following list of personal traits a while ago while internet surfing at currclick.com.  The traits speak to the ‘human’ part of our existence:

What Standardized Tests Can't Measure

It’s an impressive list  — a list that speaks to some of the most important things we value about ourselves as compassionate and competent people — traits that we hope are imparted to our children.  As a parent, I want my own children to have these traits — to be proficient in these characteristics so that as adults they can thrive and be happy in our increasingly fast-paced and, some would say, depersonalized world.

Take another look at the list — a closer look — but this time tell me which traits are actually assessed in schools by having all students take a standardized assessment or exam.  I’ll wait — go back and take a look.

No … you didn’t go back and read them again … I’ll wait for you to finish.

If you couldn’t find a single trait that where all students are assessed in BC using a standardized assessment you’re correct …  NONE OF THEM.  Not ONE of these really important traits is evaluated using a provincial standardized assessment, or any standardized assessment for that matter.

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Courage – Hard to Measure But Still an Important Life Skill

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Pure Joy & Teenagers

I am sometimes asked by others what my favourite job has been in education.  I can honestly say that I’ve loved all of them — Teacher, Science Department Head, Vice-Principal, Principal, Director of Instruction, Assistant Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent and now Superintendent.

chemistry

I Loved Teaching Chemistry

But the one with the greatest Pure Joy has to be teaching — being in my own classroom and interacting with my students was awesome!  I was a ‘substitute’ teacher (now known as a TTOC) in my first year and then taught in 3 different schools for the next 9 years.  Those 10 years in the classroom at the beginning of my career were magical.

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