I’m Thankful for Teachers Who Stand Up

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Teachers Throwing Out Grades

The Teachers Throwing Out Grades Facebook group is a unique collection of education game changers. I’m thankful for teachers who put students first, as the teachers in this group do.

I started the TTOG Facebook group as a way to spark conversation about the no-grades classroom. It would be disingenuous to say that the group was not created as a marketing tool. I want to push my forthcoming book, Assessment 3.0, because I hope it will be at the forefront of education reform and a Facebook group seemed like a simple way to generate interest. This Thanksgiving, I want to express that I am thankful for teachers who comprise a group that has become so much more than I ever envisioned.

Grassroots organizers

In a few short months, TTOG has grown from the first 100 or so people I added to the group to nearly 2,000 teachers who believe that education needs to change.

I’ve realized that TTOG is not a marketing tool. It is a global fraternity of people dedicated to helping the world’s most important asset–our children. The Teachers Throwing Out Grades group is rapidly becoming a serious movement. It is a collection of grassroots organizers who reach out to people in many countries for lively discussion and support. #TTOG is now a powerful Twitter chat–a hashtag that people use everyday to share comments, questions, and resources about the no-grades classroom. The message expands almost by the minute.

We don’t always agree on certain approaches, which ignites rich, sometimes contentious, debate. This used to bother me, but recently I’ve come to understand that questioning one another is critical to our success. We are more than a political rally, cheering our cause together. Our power is founded on the diverse personalities and experiences in the group.

While it’s easy for people to doubt a movement that is so far from the norm, I remain steadfast in my belief that the no-grades classroom is an idea whose time has come. And the people here, those willing to stand against the status quo, will each play a role in education’s greatest reform.

I’m thankful for teachers who refuse to settle for poor standards and low expectations. I’m thankful for the Teachers Throwing Out Grades, because while so many other educators march to the beat of the bureaucracy and the publishing lobby, you say, “I’m going to do what’s best for students.” You impact lives daily like few people do, and this makes you special.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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Mark Barnes is the Founder of Times 10 Publications, which produces the popular Hack Learning Series, The uNseries, and other books from some of education's most reputable teachers and leaders. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and Hack Learning. Connect with @markbarnes19 on Twitter.

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