At this point in implementation, it is tempting to pat myself on the back and coast on those successes. My students are getting better science education than any students in my classes every have. Their education is hands-on and minds-on. Compared to those teachers still focusing on memorizing content, I'm doing pretty well. However, if I stop and focus on the vision of the NGSS instead of the hypothetical teachers down the hall, I realize that I have a long way to go to reach the vision.
Sidenote: This focusing on the teacher next door instead of the best models is a danger, not only in NGSS implementation, but in teacher growth as well. By holding on to the mindset, "Well, I'm doing better than so-and-so down the hall," we limit our professional growth. If we instead, focus on comparing ourselves to the best models of effective instruction in our domains and the best possible version of our own teacher selves, we can propel ourselves toward continuous profesisonal growth.
Grade‐appropriate elements of the science and engineering practice(s), disciplinary core idea(s), and crosscutting concept(s), work together to support students in three‐dimensional learning to make sense of phenomena and/or to design solutions to problems.
So, at this point, I will pat myself on the back for doing good work, but I won't stop there. I will internalize the idea that good isn't really good enough. I've got to continue to be intentional in designing instruction around phenomena and focusing on making that instruction inclusive of the three dimensions.
I hope that you will also pat yourself on the back for the hard work you've done in NGSS implementation thus far, and then take a look at the vision and realize that all of us have more work to do. Will you join me in committing to ensuring that our kids get a world-class science education--not just a "good" science education?