Hidden Valley Waterfall

Hidden Valley Waterfall

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Performance Based Learning - how amazing!

Today was my first day of new teacher orientation here in Astana. Those of us new to international teaching learned all about Performance Based Learning. And, let me say, I am excited!!! Imagine this:  a classroom where  you are placed by age, not grade. Then, if you struggle with the material in math or reading, you are able to move freely up or down an age level, as all math and reading classes are held at the same time to allow for this. As the special education teacher, my kids are with me for these subjects and I actually get to teach the grade level they are on.  There is no "well... you are in such a grade, so we will make you learn that level and try remediation in a separate pull-out" b.s. going on. If they are at a second grade level, that is what they learn. There is a high parent-involvement (as there should be for the money they pay for private school) and a strong community involvement as well. I am so overjoyed at the idea of my students learning at their pace, because it can be done. And, teachers are encouraged to be creative - to teach material, not tests. My giddiness is abundant right now. I hope that this continues to be the case..that I find myself in an educational environment where not only I make a difference for my students, but where a difference is made in me as an educator.

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