Especially if you are an educator on Twitter, you’ve probably heard of Starr Sackstein, Mark Barnes, and/or the going gradeless movement. But did you know that Starr and Mark also have a Teachers Throwing Out Grades Facebook group? No? Neither did I, until a month ago. Even if you are not interested in tossing grades yourself, here are four reasons TTOG is a must-join group for teachers everywhere.
It challenges the status quo.
This photo recently circulated around Facebook. Most teachers I knew shared and applauded its sentiments, exhausted by whining and irresponsibility. And I get it. Yet I appreciated the way TTOG members chose to set aside those frustrations in favor of digging deeper. Comments examined the underlying sentiments and root causes behind the sign, and questioned ways we can better cultivate responsibility and respect.
It will help you reflect upon and refine your why.
When you join a group that consists of thousands of teachers who are re-examining their entire assessment approach, you can’t help but glean inspiration. Even if you don’t agree with every opinion, you will likely begin to realize just how many practices we take for granted in the classroom, and start to better evaluate why you do what you do.
The discussions are some of the most thought-provoking I’ve ever seen in my PLN.
A recent post posed the following question:
“A few colleagues have said recently that “you can’t have rigor without accountability”.
Thoughts? How would you respond?”
The subsequent conversation included follow-up questions, definitions, resources, anecdotes, and every other ingredient of a healthy, lively debate.
It will remind you about our students’ humanity and what matters most.
“It’s not our job…” pic.twitter.com/Oww7DgVZ83
— TeachThought (@TeachThought) May 10, 2016
This was not shared in TTOG, but I would say this drives its ideology. Contrary to popular belief, tossing grades and tests is not about trying to cushion delicate students’ self-esteem. Rather, it is about putting the emphasis back on learning and challenging teachers to better elevate and uncover meaningful learning.
featured image: DeathtoTheStockPhoto