Standards and backward mapping are essential to help teachers focus on the end goals students have to reach. This makes planning more direct and easier to measure over an extended time frame. Being able to breakdown standards allow us to identify the skills and big ideas the students need. While backward planning helps us to form the smaller steps for our learners to be able to reach it. Making it possible to plan lessons that are valuable and measurable to the greater benefit of each student.
Teaching in South Korea has never felt like “a real” teaching job. I think this is in part because we can work here without a teaching license and in part due to their ELL structure. When you are handed a book to teach, and the only requirement is to finish it on time, it does take off some of the pressure to plan an entire curriculum based on your student’s’ current levels. It also means that most of us never realize there are standards set for students to reach. Until this module, I always feared what would happen if I started a teaching position where there was no book to follow day by day. How would I possibly go about planning work for my students to ensure they are performing at grade level and future success? This felt like a massive responsibility that I had no idea how to prepare for adequately.
Finding out about WIDA and that there is an entire organization that sets standards for EFL is incredible. It has already been helpful to see that the work I am doing with my students is on the right track. I think this will help me focus more on the outcomes rather on what activities I have to teach. Looking at the standards, they are meant to reach and to ensure my lessons are derived from this using backward mapping. Learning to take standards and planning backward will take a certain amount of careful planning and time at first. For me, it will also require making a mindset shift that even though I don’t test me students that I can still assess them to ensure they are reaching the proficiencies and planning my activities from there.
Learning about standards and backward mapping is really helpful. This makes me excited about the work we will be covering during the rest of the module. I can see the value it has for myself as a teacher as well as my students. I think if I can practice and master these skills as a teacher, I would be able to teach my students knowing that I am preparing them well. It will give me confidence and a solid guideline to work within all teaching situations.