Wow! Who would have guessed the impact on education this past election would have. A new education secretary and an attack on Common Core State Standards (CCSS)…where do teachers go from here. That’s the question I’ve been asking myself this past month as I watch the results of our recent elections and the appointment of a new cabinet by Donald Trump. Rumors abound but the one that concerns me most is the abandonment of the CCSS.
Whether you like the CCSS or find them appalling, teachers have had to adapt and incorporate these principles into their everyday teaching. For me adapting to new benchmarks has always been the case. When I began teaching, I was required to follow or create student learning objectives or “SLOs” as we called them then. Next were the Grade Level Expectations or “GLEs”, and again I worked hard as an educator to adapt and provided quality instruction based on these expectations. Finally, I’ve worked at conquering and analyzing the Common Core State Standards. After breaking the standards down into manageable chunks, I’ve worked hard to be accountable for teaching my students what I believe will help them achieve success, especially when faced with the Smarter Balance test.
Recently with all the speculation about upcoming changes resulting from the new election, I’ve worried about what will come next if the standards are rescinded. I worry about my students who are very mobile and what they may face in another district or state without the consistency in requirements. I worry about having to learn and implement another system of requirements. I’m just worried…
But I’ve come to a conclusion and resolution about these changes. I’ve decided to seize the power. As I write this, I’m beginning to analyze the modifications I’ve made in my teaching and my students learning based on the CCSS. What I have decided to do is to identify what has worked best and capture this in a document that will allow me to remember my most successful teaching strategies under the CCSS. I’m not going to start over from scratch if the standards are scrapped. Instead, I’ll dutifully embrace the next wave of “innovation” while keeping what I know works for my students. I’m going to be proactive and do what’s best for my students while I adapt to the new rules set forth for educators. My intent is to be more intentional when faced with new requirements. I will overcome and so will my students!
Am I happy about a potential change in policy? No. But I’m going to remind myself that I have the power and will conquer any challenges to support my students’ efforts to achieve and become successful. I will adapt and soldier on in my classroom.
I’d like to hear what other teachers are thinking about the potential change and how they will face it if and when it happens. Together if we share our thoughts and ideas, we’ll be stronger and better teachers for our students. What do you think?