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Common Core State Standards (CCSS)

This Teacher and Military Spouse Reminds Us the Real Purpose of Common Core

Connie Meiers is an elementary school teacher at Stewart County elementary school in southwestern Georgia, and her husband is a nearly 30-year veteran of the U.S. military, stationed at Fort Benning. We asked teachers on Facebook to share how they’re preparing parents for Common Core, and Connie’s response was so thoughtful we wanted to share it here on our blog. Having moved around a lot, she has taught at nine different elementary schools (eight of which were Title I), giving her a unique perspective on the value of these higher standards.
I think the resistance to Common Core from parents and educators is because they’re missing its purpose. If we keep teaching in our archaic ways, we will keep getting the same outcomes. Common Core is shifting the paradigm in the outcomes we expect, our instructional practices, and elevating students’ understanding of content on a high-order thinking scale. Take math, for instance: if we just teach students math on a basic level—“remember and understand”—we will continue to lag behind countries that teach math on the high-order thinking levels: apply, analyze, evaluate and create. It’s no surprise America has to outsource most engineering jobs and any jobs that are STEM-based. If we do not embrace Common Core and require learning on a higher level, we are doing our students and this country a great disservice. Change is hard, change is difficult and change is usually not welcomed. But Common Core change is necessary…America has some of the greatest minds in this universe…if not THE greatest! Those great minds will stagnate and not reach their full potential if we do not give students the tools they need to take knowledge to the next level! I think the big problem with Common Core is not Common Core…it was the lack of preparation and professional development from education systems when implementing it. Many teachers are resistant to Common Core because they do not see the “big picture” of the outcomes. Many teachers do not understand Common Core themselves because it contradicts the way they learned in school as well as how they have ALWAYS taught. I embrace Common Core because many of the practices it employs I've done throughout my career. This is because I’ve had examples of EXPERT teachers when I was a student and I’ve worked with expert teachers who have shared their expertise. I’m ALWAYS learning and growing as an educator…because until I have succeeded in all my students achieving mastery…there’re still things I can learn and work on. Happy teaching, everyone! Teaching isn’t easy…but all the hard work is worth it when you see the smile of success on a student’s face!
 
Photo of Connie Meiers with family, from her Facebook page.
J. Gordon Wright
Gordon has been at brightbeam since its founding in 2014 as Education Post. He is currently the Chief Program Officer, owning the oversight of all brightbeam platforms, including editorial content and digital activism. Previously, he served as Communications Director for Future Is Now, a nonprofit that ...

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