Ahhh, Mr. Henderson, you make it sound so easy, and as hard as I may try, I still find it harrowing to bring student-centered, cooperative education to kids who don't want to learn, much less show how they are progressing. I have had to train my brain to constantly plan lessons and activities that cross Bloom's Revised Taxonomy with multiple intelligences, even when my students say, "Just tell me what to do 'cause I don't want to figure it out myself."
As I try to teach out of the box of state-adopted, NCLB- approved material I've been handed, I remind myself it hasn't always been like this, and it's not like this everywhere in California. I remember a time when I taught in a Central Coast public middle school that allowed me to build student-centered activities with differentiated approaches, such as Socratic Seminars, PowerPoint games, interactive Web 2.0 cloze activities, monthly challenge-based learning projects, and hands-on collaborative class work.
This is not a magical make-believe place, as some educators might think, but a school where teachers are considered professionals, where administrators believe these professionals are highly qualified to guide students towards common standards and higher thinking skills, and where Program Improvement is never given a thought. Maybe one day it will be every school in the U. S.