I just wanted to let a few things off my mind regarding learning about Teaching Learning Critical Pathways. If writing is catharsis then I should already be purged of all thoughts. Thankfully, there are constantly new batches being brewed. This post is part of my ongoing professional learning in my Reading Specialist course (masterfully taught through ETFO) and will be linked to an amazing on-line content curation site on Thinglink. So here goes…
Solomon wrote, “There is nothing new under the sun” and when it comes to professional learning to support student achievement, then Teaching-Learning Critical Pathways fits well into this axiom.This is not a slight against what I’ve observed as an effective school-wide strategy to develop/improve students in a particular or identifiable area of need. I just personally struggle trying to colour in between some of its lines.* Wisdom would dictate Teaching Learning Critical Pathways is as inherently important as Differentiated Instruction, Inquiry or Brain Based Learning except that it’s collectively constructed.
Ideally, the T-LCP process should go from rote to rambunctious if done right because of all the passionate educators sharing and collaborating on a collective vision. Yet, I see very little of that level of magic when the spell is being cast. Where it happens for me is in the classroom where the opportunity to move students towards success occurs. Sure I know where they are on my ‘data wall’ but so do they.
So we gather, we share, we identify a focus, and we establish our goals on how to achieve ‘the one’. Usually overall and specific curriculum requirements and broad assessments are infused to ensure clear language. Data walls ranging from a single class, a panel and entire school are meticulously calibrated and grade appropriate instructional strategies. I love these things. I even made a Pinterest Data Wall board. What I like best is the visual reminder they provide for me to keep focused on the goal to move my students along the learning continuum. Then, for 6 weeks there is a complete corporate commitment to cultivating success. This is where I think some sort of celebration should take place. I mean after all the kids worked hard, and we did too. After a little shindig there is the much needed organization of accumulated assessment information and reflection. I see this as another place to celebrate.
According to a study from Niagara Catholic District School Board 2009 most teachers participating in the T-LCP for the first time gained greatly from the experience. What I like about this document are the graphics that clearly show the growth of the teachers as much as the students. Another excellent example that explains the process can be found on 6/7 Content. This site essentially demystifies the process in simple steps while espousing the clear benefits of T-LCP. For this the work and commitment of the educators who’ve T-LCPd before me, I am thankful.
I promise I will try to colour in between the lines a little bit more each time I learn as long as there is still room outside the lines for me to ask questions of the process and myself.
* Note:This is completely my problem, but it makes me wonder how many other educators out there share this burden.?