Episode 007 – Authentic Assessment
2014 Texas Teacher of the Year
On the program this week, Teachers of the Year Radio welcomes Monica Washington, who teaches 11th grade English at Texas High School in Texarkana Independent School District, the 2014 Texas Teacher of the Year. Monica is well known in the lone star state for providing her students with a passion for learning that extends beyond the schoolhouse doors.
According to Washington, “accomplishments in education can never be considered accomplishments if they aren’t rooted in the success of others.” That success, she describes in this week’s conversation, is not just limited to achievement on standardized tests; instead, it is about providing students an opportunity to demonstrate their learning in authentic, ‘real world,’ ways. In addition to her teaching duties and advocating for great teaching around the state and nation, Monica shares about her experiences as a teacher leader on her blog, Orange All Over.
Monica is an experienced and distinguished teacher and leader in her region. Her work in education strives not just to give students the content knowledge they need to move on in their education, but “all the necessary tools students need to become successful citizens.” That’s why she believes assessments need to be more than conventional tests.
So how does a teacher create opportunities for students to show what they know? What ways are best and for which students do they work? How can teachers make their classrooms a place where students have multiple outlets to demonstrate mastery of the standards and be creative as well?
This week, Monica Washington shows us how it’s done in her classroom and how it can work for teachers everywhere. What’s most important, ultimately to Washington, is that the assessment supports learning and doesn’t end it. As Monica puts it,
“I’d rather have a loud wrong answer than a quiet right answer.”
Further Learning on This Topic:
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