How do I Measure Success in My Classroom?

At EduCon 2017 I heard Chris Lehman, the former principal of SLA in Philadelphia, say something to the effect of, "Show me your master schedule and I'll see what your school values." Similarly, I think if you ask a teacher how they measure success it says a lot about their core values.

For some teachers it might be test scores. For others it might be "softer skills" such as a love of reading or asking good questions. Personally, I try to use both types of data to measure my success as a teacher. But today, it was none of the above.

Today, I looked down at the four table bins and saw that all of the pencils were there. It has been almost a week since I replenished them, and lovingly taped them with colors to correspond with their bins. Some were stubby. One was broken. But they were all there.

Sometimes I honestly worry that my kids think that keeping track of pencils is one of my (and our classroom's) top priorities. Especially lately as I have been nagging them at the end of the morning and afternoon to make sure they're all there. Listening to me nag, would Chris say that I value pencils most of all? Perhaps.

I'm not sure whether it's worth the energy I put in. There are a number of rationalizations I could provide (responsibility, taking care of natural resources...). The truth is, I'm not really sure why I care so much or whether I should, but I do. So, for now I'm counting pencils twice a day. And today was a good day.


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