Friday, October 09, 2015

Teaching Tip #24

Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #24
Institute KRAs in your classroom.
What is a KRA?
I stole this from Dave Ramsey who uses these with his company.
Ramsey uses this so his team members know exactly what winning looks like.  That is, he gives his employees a check list, if you will, to check off so they know they’re excellent at their job.
Key Results Areas include three or four over arching job requirements with a few sentences or bullet points that show the worker (or in our case, the student) what winning looks like at their job.
Ramsey offers an example -
Job - Team Morale and Fun Events Coordinator (how awesome would that job be?)
Areas -
HR Fun Event Planning
Culture Cultivation
Administration Support for HR Team
Work Atmosphere and Personal/Professional Growth
Results -
Below those four areas are specific examples of what each area involves.
For example, “Culture Cultivation” involves planning events that help boost culture, communicate expectations to staff members so they perpetuate the greater company culture, and finally research other companies’ procedures and processes and examine their usefulness for our culture.
You see, if you have that job, you can look at your KRAs and know exactly what you should do.  Moreover, once you’ve done your job for several months, you can review your KRAs and say, “I did that.  This fit that area.  I also did that . . . I’m excellent at my job.”
How can we use this in our classes?
In the past I’ve put up on the board for students to see what they have to do to get an A on an essay (submit it on time; write about an appropriate topic; fill the piece with voice and style; the piece adequately explores the topic; and finally the piece has few (if any) rudimentary errors of grammar, format, and punctuation).  Then I put up what a B essay looks like and so on.
But I’m toying with giving KRAs to my students so they can review (I think we will do this weekly), so they can see if they’re “winning.”
Now I just need to come up with three or four areas that I want students to focus on
Here is my list so far (and it is by no means complete yet)
1.  Papers -
        Submitted on time
        Proper format (MLA or APA)
        Adequately explores or support the topic
        Skillfully uses elements of style
        Mechanical errors are few or nonexistent
        Essays are full of voice and style
2.  Work ethic -
        Students are curious
        Students are open minded
        Students are willing to take risks and make mistakes
        Students are able to learn from their mistakes
        Students illustrate an intrinsic motivation
        Students read and write ravenously
3.  Discussion -
        Discussions are college level:
                    Discussions dig deeper into content and avoid surface level summaries or points.
                    Students are willing to question me and classmates.
                    Students illustrate a unique or original analysis of subjects.
                    Discussions reveal how much the student knows about a subject.
                    Discussions are on point and there is no filler or BS.
Any thoughts of other areas that I should include?  Homework?  Attendance?  Communication?  Manners?
I’d love to hear what others come up with.
I’d love to use my KRAs to illustrate my teaching tip #4 (pre-plan your responses to situations).
If a parent calls (or a student inquires) about their grade, I can have them pull out their KRAs and point to where they fall short.  Conversely, students can examine their KRAs and cross reference them with their essays and assignments and have a clear understanding of just how well they are excelling at College Comp one and two.

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