A blogger friend of mine is hosting a blogshare regarding resolutions that think outside the box. Her post can be found here.
This year, I resolve to create and utilize more diagnostic assessments. Teaching isn't just about presenting knowledge. Teaching is about establishing the knowledge base that already exists in my students. It's a waste of our collective time to cover material they already know. This is also time when they might zone out and stop paying attention. By the time we get to new material, they might miss what's important. Even worse, I might start on information that they can't learn yet because they are missing important information.
Creating and grading such structured assessments can be boring and time-consuming, but it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make to improve the education of my students and my craft as an educator.
I may seem small and unexciting, but this year I've already learned how invaluable diagnostic assessments can be on a few skills. If I applied to to my entire curriculum, my students could learn so much more and we could both waste a lot less time. By covering the important things in less time, we'll have more time for fun.