FIP for Future Educators

Not long ago, I had the pleasure of participating in the Future Educators Association (FEA) Ohio conference at Ohio Dominican University. The conference, aimed at preparing future educators, invited high school students from across the state who are interested in pursuing teaching as a future career to participate.

Patty Griffin, state coordinator of FEA at the Ohio Department of Education, shared with us her thoughts on the event. “The FEA Ohio Conference was a huge success due to the hard work and dedication of the Executive Committee and Ohio Dominican University. The aspiring teachers in attendance were engaged and excited as they learned, interacted, competed, and enjoyed their day!”

The FIP Your School Ohio team hosted a session attended by the students and their advisors. We asked the students to discuss several prompts with a partner in order to encourage connections between their own learning experiences and their future experiences in education as teachers.

Give an example of a time you experienced clear learning targets and expectations. What happened as a result? Give an example of a time you had a negative experience with unclear expectations. What happened as a result?

 True or False: All practice work should be graded.

True or False: Feedback is basically just advice related to learning.

What would the education experience look like if we challenged students to identify their own needs, set their own goals, and find their own way?

I am sure that you will see the essence of FIP behind the prompts. As these young educators thought about their own learning experiences they were soon confirming the importance of asking and answering the central “FIP” questions for themselves, and their future students--"Where am I going? Where am I now? How can I close the gap?"

 By the end of the sessions, students and their advisors were left with a challenge and an opportunity:

Challenge: Cultivate ownership of learning now and in the future by having clarity about the learning targets, collecting and documenting evidence of student learning and providing effective feedback.

 Opportunity: Advisors can provide their students with the opportunity to learn more about FIP by enrolling their students in the FIP modules!

Amy Mahaffey, FEA advisor and Teacher Academy Instructor at Butler Tech and Fairfield High School, is excited for opportunity for advisors and their students to take the FIP modules.

“Battelle for Kids and the Ohio Department of Education are changing the way educators view assessments through FIP Your School Ohio. They are challenging educators to think about what assessments could or should look like. Through their partnership with Future Educators Association, advisors are offered free professional development opportunities with the online FIP modules. We can share these 21st century classroom practices with our future educators and ‘show’ them how even assessments can be designed to be student-centered. My hope is that FEA advisors embrace this opportunity and share their learning with their students, colleagues, and administrators!” 

And though no one can predict what changes will come as technology advances, one thing is for sure: you can never go wrong with FIP. We were so impressed by the students’ reflective thinking, clear #passion2teach (which was the official hashtag used at the event), and thoughtful responses that demonstrated the beginnings of an orientation toward formative assessment and instruction. Good luck to these future educators!!

It is never too early or too late to learn about and use formative instructional practices. It does not matter if students are in pre-school, high school or college. It doesn’t matter if students plan to enter the field of education, engineering or earth science. What matters is that all students need to know where they are going, where they are, and how to close their gaps so that they can achieve their dreams!

Learn more about how dual-enrollment high school students can enroll in FIP modules