Tuesday, June 8, 2010
6/8/10 Meeting with classroom teachers and pre-service teachers
I have mapped out the next 10 miles for this Friday morning’s walk. I have also been corresponding with a few people who are interested in walking with me in Connecticut. We are working out the details, and a couple of people will definitely do some of the walking with me in Connecticut. When they join me I’ll let you all know.
There are others who just want to meet with me to hear about the walk to DC.
Tonight I met with 12 teachers and a few education students at Central Connecticut State University in an Introduction to Special Education course. The walking man was their guest speaker tonight:-)
It is never easy for me to tell people about this walking to Washington DC project. Personally I have been advocating for a balanced assessment model for many years. My view includes multiple forms of assessment, informal, formal, performance based assessments, and learner inputs. I see assessment as a portfolio rather than sets of isolated data. I have been struggling with NCLB, because it over looks informal assessments lacks real teacher input, and it’s over reliance on standardized assessments.
The problem with explaining to people where walking to DC began is? Really where should I start?
Well today I worked my way backwards. I began with our facebook group “Children are more than test scores.” Besides 6171 members is impressive to people. I worked my back to day one when I thought I was alone, and worried people might think I was crazy. I shared how inspired I am by the comments people leave on our wall on Children are more than test scores. I love to point out that our numbers keep growing as well. I show them the walking stick Georgia Hedrick made for my walk to DC. My tired feet needed it walking miles ten and eleven last Friday. Thank you Georgia.
I always share a few stories from parents and teachers who have shared with me about the negative impacts of the NCLB legislation. You know the stuff that never makes the evening news.
One teacher in the audience shared her story as well. She explained how overwhelming teaching has become tracking all the required data. A teacher's day begins long before the first student enters the room.
However the highlight of my day was the package in the mail I picked up on my way to tonight’s talk. It came from Kim Weaver a member of our group on facebook from California. I waited to open it until my meeting, because I knew Kim was sending me some ribbons for our walking stick. You can see it in the first day’s walk video.
While it appeared I was walking alone in the video, people should know I am never alone.
Last Friday John Foshay was always down the road keeping an eye on me, and videoing portions of the walk for our facebook page. Calling out words of encouragement along the way. Always ready if needed.
I had Georgia’s Hedrick a retired teacher, (37 years in the classroom) from Nevada, and her muti-colored ribbon with me every step of the way.
I waited to open Kim’s package, because I wanted this audience to know I am not alone on this walk. If people can’t actually walk with me they can do other things besides walking, like send me ribbons.
I need heroes on this walk, and my heroes last Friday were John Foshay and Georgia Hedrick. I am never alone on the road.You see I always walk with my heroes.
My heroes this Friday will be Abigail, Gracie, and their mother Kim Weaver whose ribbons are next to Georgia’s. I tied their ribbons on my walking stick right there. I am posting a few photos for members to see.
I also gave my audience a handout with six things they could do to help with the walk, or speak out against NCLB/RTTT policies. (I'll post them here as well in the morning).
Today’s audience was extremely receptive, ask great questions, and share their own stories. I think I may have pick up a few volunteer walkers tonight. They also gave a tremendous round of applause when it was over. This is not the story of a crazy man walking to DC, but the story of a tidal wave building.
I am walking to DC,