Friday, June 27, 2014

Common Core Conundrums

Ok, so pokey California is finally getting around to joining *most* of the nation with implementation of the national Common Core standards.  I have mixed emotions about all of this {don't get me started on high stakes testing....grrr!},  but what it all boils down to is feeling unsettled.  After 24 years of teaching,  I feel like a first year teacher.  I was starting to enjoy my rhythm and routine, innately knowing how to teach, but have been thrown a curve ball with CCSS.  Yes, some of the standards are the same.  Yes, I agree with going deeper rather than skimming the surface of skills and standards.  What unsettles me is that I am having to give myself my own professional development this summer.  I've been waking up early, searching for online professional development from other states who've been in CCSS for a few years already.  I do not feel ready to tackle the school year, with no adopted CCSS materials other than giant binders full of SMALL font, teacher scripted lessons that are so hard to follow.  Yuck!  I read some advice the other day that said to "Just shut the door and teach."  It really felt like a *facepalm* moment when I realize that I DO have what it takes to make things make sense for kids.  I do not have to follow that yucky binder full of strangely arranged sequencing and unmatched overlapping standards.  I can carve out my own path to teaching Common Core standards to my students.  There.  I feel better.  Now, if I can only get over the "perfectionism" tendency {see opening quote!} and allow myself time to blaze a new trail for myself.  It's ok to be a beginner.  It's ok to be a beginner.  It's ok....

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