I love teachers. We cannot change anything in schools without them. So why have so many school reform movements put an emphasis on the logical argument of their proposed change, rather than on helping teachers to understand and implement the proposed change? Complexity is one answer. But a willingness to compromise with teachers before, during and after the change is a better answer. The Common Core is being rushed into existence with few examples of really inviting teachers to be a part of the change.
“There are many states working on how to help teachers learn and use the Common Core. In an ambitious and comprehensive effort, the state of Tennessee provided 30,000 teachers with intensive training this past summer as part of its transition to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)—more rigorous academic standards in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics. The sessions were led by 700 teacher coaches, known as “Core Coaches,” who were selected from 1,250 applicants based on their record of classroom success and a round of interviews. Prior to leading the statewide training for their peers, the teacher-coaches received two weeks of intensive training from the State and experts in the Common Core State Standards” (U.S. Department of Education Blog).
Now this begins to be an invitation to work alongside of…although too late for the initiation of this change effort, it is non-the-less an excellent second step. North Carolina and others are helping their teachers during these very difficult times to implement their Common Core curriculums. When in doubt, organize teachers in a peer-to-peer learning format…it is afterall the most successful way to really change schools.