"Im holding on too tight. I've lost the edge," is how Cougar says it. And I can't help but wonder whether or not Cougar and I have something in common.
I like Bill Gates and all his foundation is doing for public education. But I'm growing tired of the theory that students succeed based on the ability of their teacher. Good teacher matter, that is true. But sometimes, good teachers make no difference at all because students are people and not data points. I believe in merit pay. I believe in school reform. But I don't know how to solve the bad student cohort problem.
Last year, I taught my Honors, College Prep, and Fundamental level students in much the same way. All three groups outperformed their peers on state exams. This year, my two college prep classes are performing at, or below, the Fundamental level students from last year.
Did I suddenly become bad? Have I lost the edge? Do I need to turn in my wings?