Mastering the Mastery Matrix: Teacher Perspective
I am a Concord University student, and I have been student teaching at River View High School in McDowell County, WV, for several weeks. Clearly, the goal of student teaching is to provide teacher candidates, like myself, with real-world teaching experiences. My mentor, Mrs. Deborah McNeil, and the principal, Mr. Mike Tye have awarded me opportunities to broaden my professional development that extend far beyond the classroom by including me in team meetings where I collaborate with professionals – some having 30+ years of expertise in the field – to analyze student performance, identify deficiencies, and adjust lessons to fit the needs of the students.
Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Terry Cash from Edwards Educational Services during one of the team meetings. He, Mr. Tye, and River View’s English instructors were discussing student progress, learning gaps, and other typical issues frequently and closely examined at the school. While standard educational topics were discussed, the strategy of ensuring quality education was anything but ordinary. Educators at River View High School use the Edwards Educational Services’ Mastery Matrix System as a means to assess their own planning and instruction.
Needless to say, I was very impressed with this valuable planning tool. After the meeting, I spoke with Dr. Cash about the Mastery Matrix, and he was kind enough to provide me with some Mastery Matrix materials to use, as I was still in the process of transitioning from the role of an assistant to taking on full teaching responsibilities. I used the Mastery Matrix to evaluate the lesson plans that I was soon to deliver. I was happy to find that my lessons covered DOK 1-3, which honestly did not surprise me because Mrs. McNeil is a wonderful mentor who has helped me immensely with my planning and preparation for assuming the primary teacher role. However, I was surprised to find that, in the process of working on the matrix, I came up with ideas for DOK 4 projects to supplement my unit.
I loved using the Mastery Matrix because it helped me to break down my unit, evaluate my planning, and fill in any gaps before I delivered the lessons to the class. The Mastery Matrix helped me to visualize my lessons and expand the opportunities for student learning through project-based teaching methods, and so far, my lessons have been a great success!
~Chasity Kennedy, River View High School, McDowell County, WV