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Life Skills Support Teacher

Why Does Fear and Loathing Prevail Among Educators?

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Crankiness and other extreme emotions aside, standards and using them as the basis for lesson planning is actually a good thing. Why?

I've taught in both private and public schools. While neither are perfect, the latter has an advantage and the great thing is that pre-service teacher education at the post-secondary level in PA state universities have you write at least a hundred lesson plans until it's all said and done. The common core is standards or anchors. Proper lesson objectives descend from the standards. The lesson assessment must align with the lesson objective, otherwise, the lesson is ineffective.

With private schools, I've seen curricula invented out of thin air, based on an individual teacher's preferences or biases. In private schools, many teachers are uncertified, so they've never been trained to compose a lesson plan, to properly implement instruction, or to compose a proper assessment. They may be masters of content, but as many of you know who possess college degrees, many professors simply do not know how to teach. They can feed information and that's it.

That's not teaching. I once knew of a private school teacher who could not understand why she was fired for giving a failing grade to a student whose political views did not match hers, despite the student having evidently written a paper with above average form, grammatics, spelling, etc.

C'mon, Gae, I believe you are intelligent enough to understand that the language by which the standards are written are not meant to be read by third grade students. Any college grad should know the definition of "delineate."

As the other respondent mentioned, many creative ways can be implemented to meet the standards with some imagination. Your better texbook series offer loads of suggestions, especially those in language arts. Think of ways to make a lesson involve as many different standards across different subjects. It can be done. I've seen it work.

It takes imagination and some work, that's all, plus a little faith in the process.

I know of this animus toward NCLB because I've been hearing the chorus of complaints in faculty lounges for years. It's mostly from the older veteran teachers who don't want new challenges or extra work. They want to repeat the same basic lessons year in and year out and coast toward retirement and their pension.

Biology & Environmental Science Educator from Shawano, WI

You get what you give!

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While I patiently wait for the Next Generation Science Standards (call 'em Common Core and face trademark infringement!) I feel the pain of the elementary teacher that must sift through standards for all subject areas. While well intentioned and idealistic, the standards will still only accomplish what the teacher and their administrators put in to them. Teaching during the last round of standards alignment, I saw twenty teachers take twenty different approaches and come up with twenty different ways to make their curriculum "meet" the standards. Some would bend the meaning and intent of the standards, simply to continue teaching the same material, or to show that they indeed have "covered" all of the standards.

We need networks of educators discussing the outward reflections you seek for each and every standard. Then, we need teachers who are willing to take the time to reflect on the impact of every learning experience on every student in their classrooms, then abandon, modify, or supplement as necessary to justify their accountability.

Be cranky...it's warranted.

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