I am so lucky to have personal connections with some of the most talented teachers in the country (as evidenced by our photo at Education Nation in NYC). What do we have in common? Our support for the Common Core and our willingness to speak up about its value for students.
Some opponents of the Common Core argue that the Core is a curriculum that exposes students to inappropriate content or teaching methods. This is not true. An examination of the Common Core will reveal a collection of rigorous standards, or skills, that students need to become successful adults. Instructional strategies and curriculum are not outlined in the Core. You will not see a required reading list or an outline of suggested teaching methods. These important decisions are left to school administrators, curriculum leaders, and classroom teachers, the experts of teaching and learning.
With the advent of technology and social media, teacher decisions are more public than ever, and sometimes, curriculum selections and instructional strategies are muddied in the waters with the Common Core. It’s important to know that they are separate. As educators, we choose the books we want to teach and the methods we use to teach them. We, therefore, need to spread the message that the Core is not our curriculum. It is a list of standards that unify our profession and help us to set high standards for our students. That isn’t so scary.
For another blog about the Common Core and creativity, read a post from the fabulous Brooke Carlyle here.