No Mic Drops Without Mic Checks

The mic drop has become a big thing in recent years. If you’re not familiar with the concept, here it is in short form: You grab the microphone, you say something powerful and poignant, and then you drop the microphone and walk off. (By the way, please stop dropping microphones. The impact of such a drop can actually ruin them, and they are expensive to replace!). 

Those big, dramatic moments couldn’t have happened if there had been no mic check. If you’re not familiar with the concept, here it is in short form: Before any presentation, the audio guy walks up to the microphone, makes sure it is turned on, and says, “Check one, check two.” That simple process of checking the system before turning it over to the event can save hours of frustration and unpleasantness due to poor audio. 

What does any of this have to do with teaching and learning in our schools? Everything! We are all looking for that big mic drop moment – the day when our state assessment scores come back overwhelmingly positive – so that we can share that moment. However, we cannot get to that moment without checking the system and student progress along the way. 

As we near the end of the first quarter, take a few minutes to review your instructional work and student progress to this point. Ask yourself the following questions as a guide:

  1. What is working? Identify one or two things that went well during the first quarter. Celebrate the success, and plan to build on that success during the second quarter. 
  2. What isn’t working? Identify one or two things that did not go well during the first quarter. Analyze to identify specific procedures and practices that have not produced positive results. 
  3. What can we change to address what isn’t working? Think of one or two ways the previously identified procedures and practices can be improved upon during the second quarter. 

Use the answers you generate from these reflective questions to plan for the next instructional quarter. You and your students will be glad you did!

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