Yeah, I understand that Common Core is one more in a long long long list of "perfect" ways to teach.
And, that they probably didn't ask you, did they?
But I don't believe that Common Core has to be scary, intimidating, boring, or restricting! This just may be (fingers so crossed!) your chance, teachers, to regain some control and a chance to use your brilliant creativity again—finally!
I want to tell you a curious story: My favorite time in school was back in 10th grade in the 1960s. Now that might be the dark ages to you young teachers, but it was a real heyday of teaching. Why? Because teachers seemed to get to do what THEY wanted to do—imagine that!
I remember loving school, my classes, my teachers, and most especially, the creativity and challenges I encountered. It was FUN to learn Latin while lolling around in togas! It was HARD to read every word of every article of what then was a 70+page Newsweek Magazine...and be tested on it—each week! But I loved that too because I got to learn about art and culture and war and mummies and all kinds of things.
And guess what? Without it being A STANDARD, we compared and contrasted things, we debated and discussed (often loud and long), and all the other "new????" good, oldfangled teaching things that are now being rolled out as DA DA DA DUM: NEW!
My point is that, of your own teaching skill, intuition, and volition, you probably used to do these things au natural, I mean naturally. I have read Common Core and do indeed see your challenge. But it does not seem nearly as restrictive as "teaching to the you-know-what test."
I can only hope that you and your fellow teachers take the boring bull by the horn and "show em" that you can not only Common Core with the best of them, but that you can do it best when you reestablish your personal touch, creativity, and passion. It just has to be that way!
Honestly, I hope there are not so many rules? If not, then do you really have to be dictated to how you Compare and Contrast, Use Original Resource Material, etc. etc. etc.? Can't YOU get to decide how best to implement some of these Common Core ways and means? I certainly hope so!
I do think educational publishers plan to help you. We almost barfed (yeah, queens can do that too!) when we read the endless CCSS.
But it does seem like this is a chance to get back out of the box! At Gallopade, we translated the writing standards into some colorful and fun Writer's Blocks that kids can use to go from side to side to side to do any kind of writing the CCSS dictates, and actually have fun in the process! Why not?
Having fun learning is what I sincerely believe that teachers can bring to the CCSS, if they will just let you. (Fingers and toes crossed.)
I believe that what kids can choose, they use! So I created a pack of signs ('cause creating pointers was too hard!) where your students can actually choose whether to now compare and contrast or debate and discuss—why not?! I hope there is a lot of "WHY NOT?!" in your dialogue over how to implement CCSS in your classroom.
If you, the teacher (after all!), have an idea of how to implement Common Core in your classroom, isn't that okay? Isn't it better than okay? Isn't it great, your job, your perogative? We can only hope so! If it saves time...engages students...creates a passionate learning experience, well, isn't that what Common Core should be all about?
And no boring...NOOOO BORRRRING!
(See my new Wake Em Up cards that are all CC but all fast and furious and fun learning. Why not?)
Teachers, KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON!
YOU are the Queens (and Kings!) of Common Core!