Blog Post #4 (Curriculum and Assessment)

What are the requirements and guidelines for curriculum and assessment in your school? How does your host teacher address district goals and mandates?   How does this relate to teacher evaluation?

The curriculum is drawn out by the Juneau School District and is set in stone. The Alaska State standards and Common Core standards are similar, if not identical, and Juneau follows the curriculum for each grade level. However, my host teacher views the curriculum for seventh grade language arts as guidelines. He follows the book nearly religiously in order to provide students with standards they must know before moving to the next grade level.

The timeline, on the other hand, is what he bends in order to make sure students have an understanding before moving on. The Springboard workbook occasionally doesn’t provide enough time for students to get through the entire lesson. He extends some lessons to multiple days while he skips over a few lessons to compensate for lost time.

Assessments are outlined in the Springboard curriculum and my host teacher uses them the majority of the time. He explains that it is the curriculum Juneau is being taught and to accurately prepare them for next year, he must keep to the curriculum. Since the book has a specified curriculum, he also sees fit to use the summative assessments the book provides. However, he does add his own formative assessments in order to identify how much time will be spent on each unit or to observe percentages of students who grasped the major concepts of the lesson. These assessments will provide feedback for Springboard who will then adapt the lesson to make the curriculum more efficient for future generations.

In my school, teacher evaluations are judged based on how efficiently, effectively, and timely they provide information to the students. I was lucky enough to participate in informal teacher evaluations to provide feedback to teachers on how easily their learning objective is to find, how relevant the lesson is, and how well the average student copes with the lesson.

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