I’m a designer

As one of the guinea pigs canaries faculty members trying out our school’s new evaluation system, I received visits from two generous, respected colleagues.  One of my colleague’s comments helped me realize that though I often go by the label of “teacher,” I’m a designer at heart.  I design experiences from which students can learn about literature and its capacity to develop imagination, empathy and expression–especially written expression.

I am grateful for colleagues who help me reflect on my intentions and impacts as a designer.  I merely mean that I design experiences.  Then I stay alongside the students long enough to monitor their struggles and satisfactions.  A colleague from another school once told me that the term “assessment” comes from a word meaning “stand next to.”  I have not researched this etymology, but the idea has stayed with me ever since.  I am grateful for that colleague’s conversation, too.

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