Teachers (and probably some parents of school-age kids) are all probably very aware of the national push toward use of the Common Core Standards in the classroom. It’s another well-intentioned attempt to raise our academic standards, particularly in reading and writing.
I like the idea of nationalized standards for a variety of reasons, but I find the Common Core extremely overwhelming. For our Chancellor’s Day Professional Development, I’ve been asked to lead the afternoon humanities workshop. We’re meant to analyze a Common Core-aligned task and ask ourselves about how it aligns to the standards and this new Cognitive Rigor Matrix, a re-imagining of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning, which should look almost annoyingly familiar to any current-or-aspiring teachers who read this. The amount of preparation I’ve had to do for this PD is staggering; the sheer amount of reading material required just to understand these standards is overwhelming in itself. When I begin to think about teaching with these standards in mind, I almost fall into a fit. My students can barely write a complete paragraph, let alone smoothly incorporate and clearly explain text evidence (a huge part of the new ELA standards) to support their ideas.
I’m not quite sure what I hope to accomplish in posting about this.
Fellow teachers, what do you think of the Common Core? How do you think it will change your teaching? Do you think it’s an improvement on older standards?
Anyone else, please also feel free to weigh in or ask questions! I need to keep the Common Core on my mind, as I plan this PD (and work toward helping revise my district’s English curriculum).