Seeing the Common Core in Action
After years of seeing what No Child Left Behind has done, it was downright refreshing to visit 10 classrooms that were piloting the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for a story appearing in the June issue of the California Educator.
"One teacher confided to me somewhat emotionally that after years of emphasizing rote memorization, the new standards were allowing her to be a teacher again."
Instead of just being the “sage on the stage,” I saw teachers acting as “facilitators” for students taking responsibility for their own learning. Rather than being spoon-fed information in the traditional “front-loading” way, students had to tell the teacher what they didn’t understand and then fill in the missing puzzle pieces themselves.
Technology was incorporated into many of the lessons easily. One teacher confided to me somewhat emotionally that after years of emphasizing rote memorization, the new standards were allowing her to be a teacher again. Yes, I’m aware there’s been some grumbling about the CCSS, which must be implemented. Some have linked the CCSS to the movement for school privatization. I can’t say that I agree. I saw students engaged in critical thinking. I witnessed exciting debates and discussions among students. I know change is difficult. But seeing the Common Core in action convinced me our state might be on the right track to to bringing back enthusiasm for teaching and learning.