Okay, a “misunderstood teacher” story, and then a great article in defense of the Common Core in California, and why our state is implementing it better than New York and other states have (and are).
Today, my fabulous student teacher and I (and yes, she must be called fabulous), wore our pjs on top of our clothes, brought in toothbrushes, shampoo, mirrors, hair dryers, towels, pantuflas (slippers), bathrobes, soap, nail polish, brushes, combs, an alarm clock, and other accoutrement to act out the morning routine (with reflexive verbs) for our 2nd year Spanish students. And, yes, yours truly brought a blow up mattress with blanket and pillows and pretended to be sleeping as the sleepy high school children entered the classroom when her rude alarm clock awoke her to 2014 – a totally perfect set-up for the kids’ first day back from winter break.
My fabulous student teacher performed it (and got videotaped) at 9:00 am; and I performed it again later in the afternoon.
Cut to an email received at 5:30 pm sent by the principal, after I walked to my car after my 11 hour day of teaching and an after school district curriculum meeting: “It was brought to my attention that you brought in a queen sized inflatable mattress and have set it up in the front of your classroom. What educational purpose does it serve?”
“Those that make test scores and grades the heart of education hit their targets while entirely missing the point.” – Joe Bower
More on the Common Core!
This last week the California legislature voted to suspend standardized testing for all public school students for the 2013-14 year. (Here’s who voted for and against). This was based on the idea that we are transitioning from the California state standards to the Common Core standards. In this transitional year, many districts are spending their money on updating their technology, professional development and practice tests for the Common Core. Teachers, administrators and districts do not want to test students on the old standards while they are preparing students using the new standards. Testing kids on both would be a monumental task, stress students, teachers and schools, pull everyone in two directions at once, and stretch districts’ resources – all the while taking time away from actual teaching and learning.