Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Sea of Standards

Multiple standards fill the year's menu--same standards for a variety of learners--some ready, and some not so ready for this sea of standards.

You can't pour standards into students' heads, instead it takes careful teaching with multiple tools and lots of encouragement along the way. Continually reading, revising, adapting, and assessing, teachers are working diligently to embed these standards into worthy child-centered learning design.

The challenge is that the standards don't fit neatly into a year's time, a year of skinned knees, trophies to share, and the desire to socialize, play, and invent. The teacher is often put in a tough place between standards' expectations and students' needs and interests--the two aren't a perfect match, and that's very, very challenging.

So, how do you do it? How do you meet the standards and teach a worthy, responsive student-centered program too. I keep trying, but sometimes it doesn't feel right to rush children to do yet one more math paper, close reading, or written response when they'd rather make the play scenery, create a puppet show, invent a new pencil sharpener, or tell you the story of the great weekend they just had.

I haven't given up trying to do both, and I'm open to your ideas. Let me know if you have any suggestions.