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Teacher: Let Teachers Lead Common Core Professional Development

Teacher: Let Teachers Lead Common Core Professional Development

Who can best guide educators to implement and execute Common Core State Standards in the classroom? Some say district or state-level officials are better equipped to design lessons while others wholeheartedly believe teachers know their subject matter and students best.

With Common Core coming into play in classrooms across the nation, many teachers are finding themselves being asked by school districts to use prewritten or scripted lessons. Quite often teachers are urged to use unfamiliar texts and techniques, as well, said English and Psychology Teacher Susan Carle on her blog for the Center for Teaching Quality.

Carle suggests that locking teachers into an approach hinders their ability to advance their professional development--and their chances to be the innate leaders that they are supposed to be. 

"These scripted lessons diminish the true value of teachers," she said in the post. "Instead of giving teachers the autonomy to evaluate students and present material that meets their specific academic needs, school districts are shortcutting the professionalism of teaching. They are also denying students the unique cultural and regional-specific lessons that they respond to most readily—which only teachers can create."

In response to requests for lessons, Carle created two professional development workshops surrounding the Common Core standards, one for English and history teachers, and another for math and science teachers. She chose to focus the professional develpoment sessions on the technique of close reading; helping teachers create their own lessons; and finding ways to collaborate with colleages. 

"Teachers are the experts in their subjects," she said. "By treating teachers as the professionals they are—and giving them professional guided practice to build their confidence in teaching CCSS techniques—students will benefit from experienced teachers and the new skills of the Common Core."

Read the full story. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

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