As I mentioned in the first post on Teaching the Core, I've never been a fan of teaching standards; in fact, “standards” is a word that I happily deleted from the Tagxedo word cloud that I created out of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) ELA & Literacy document. A ton of things attracted me to becoming a teacher, but ensuring that my courses adhered to a list of standards was never one of those things.
In fact, the reason I set out to blog through the CCSS is because they affirm some things that I learned during my glorious, standards-ignoring days as a beginning teacher. (For more about what initially drew me to pay attention to the CCSS, read this post.)
But there's so much more to teaching
Even though I think the CCSS represent common sense, there is so much more to teaching than academics. Below, you'll find some of the “burning questions” that I'd like to eventually explore on this blog:
- What, essentially, are my courses about? What is my objective for any given term with any given set of students? Is such a broad objective possible?
- In this post, I discuss a class purpose that aims at answering these questions.
- How does a student's time in my class prepare them to flourish for a lifetime?
- What is my mission as a teacher?
- In part, it's to motivate students, something a set of standards or a high-stakes test cannot do.
- How can I develop character in my students?
- How can I have the greatest positive impact possible as a public school teacher?
- Are “21st Century Skills” really anything more than reading, writing, thinking, and being a person of character?
What “beyond the standards” topics are important to you?
Leave a comment to get the discussion started, or simply to prod me into writing more along these lines 😉