Invariably, when I sit down with a group of educators, the number one issue they want to discuss is the Idaho Core Standards. As I’m sure you know, the new standards are causing a great deal of discussion. Unfortunately, far too many educators are sharing that they are angry, frustrated, and fearful about the standards.
Most people I speak with assure me that they appreciate that these new standards move us away from rote memorization of facts necessary to pass a multiple choice test and instead cause students to problem-solve, construct new ideas, write and think critically at a deeper level.
However, almost unanimously, the educators I’ve spoken with share their frustration over the lack of resources and time to prepare for the new lessons they must deliver. It’s not uncommon to hear that:
- little to no professional development has been provided to prepare for these new standards,
- there is no curriculum from which to work,
- there are few, if any, materials available,
- there is not nearly enough time for colleagues to collaborate across grade and/or subject levels, and
- uncertainty about the SBAC test has caused additional frustration and angst.
I’ve met with educators who feel wholly prepared for teaching to these new standards. While these conversations are much rarer, they do exist. Idaho Educators are all amazing! The resourcefulness and creativity exhibited is second to none as educators work to make sure their students are as prepared as possible for what lies ahead.
Your association, the IEA, is committed to providing you with the support you need to be successful. I encourage you to check out these online tools and classroom resources:
- Common Core State Standards Toolkit
- Partnership for 21st Century Skills CC Toolkit
- Teachers Notebook
- Study Island
- Utah Education Network
- New York State Department of Education
(You can also find these tools on our Members Resources page.)
I’m also excited about the National Education Association’s partnership with BetterLesson to provide thousands of lesson plans, developed by master teachers all across the country, focused on the Common Core. Look for more information on that when the free instructional resources website is launched in early January.
The IEA is working closely with a coalition of business leaders, education stakeholders, and interested and concerned Idahoans to help ensure the successful implementation of the Idaho Core Standards. This coalition recently unveiled an Idaho Core Standards website and a Facebook page.
Both of these are designed to build public awareness and support for the Idaho Core Standards and the educators and students who are ultimately responsible for them. I encourage you to check out the website and “like” the Facebook page!
Now, let’s start a conversation. What are you and your colleagues doing to better prepare yourself and your students using the Idaho Core Standards? What piece of advice can you offer your peers across Idaho who is struggling? What other resources do you recommend?