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.