Metablog: A blog about a blog

Last year we began receiving evaluations based on the new NC teacher evaluation instrument, a process that looks at the whole teacher, not just classroom performance. Teachers comfortable with years of “Above Standard” evaluations were forced to come to grips with the realization that they might be merely proficient, or even accomplished, in many areas of the new tool.

The “Distinguished” box might just be empty.

Although it does not clearly state it in the evaluation instrument, teachers were frequently told that being distinguished meant demonstrating leadership in a particular category beyond the classroom and beyond the walls of the school. What that means in concrete terms is sometimes elusive, but I want to share what I think is one terrific example.

History teacher Steve Hill is a collector of artifacts, of the genuine stuff of history, and he thrives on telling the stories behind his artifacts. Hill recently made the decision to share his artifact- and primary source-based approach with his colleagues within and beyond the walls of Rose High by writing a blog: History Teacher: Things Military and Artistic. The site is filled with images and explanations of how he uses the images–usually actual artifacts from his own collection–to teach concepts and promote analytical thinking about art and history. It even includes images of student-created graphic organizers.

Even if you aren’t a history teacher, Hill’s site is definitely worth your time.

It seems that this is the sort of leading and sharing, the sort of promotion of quality instruction that engages learners, that separates the distinguished teacher from the accomplished. It seems like a distinction worth making.

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