Telling Exactly What Teachers Should Do Is Demoralizing?
- "Let go", This is in fact a gateway to learning once more, a renewal, a refocusing of one's efforts.
- "Less is more so go deep", The Common Core emphasizes not breadth but depth.
- "No degree of standardization will replace the teacher", A good teacher still delivers a prescribed curriculum with his/her own personal touch. It is the teacher's own understanding and impression of the subject matter that puts flavor in the lessons inside a classroom. A good curriculum does not really tell a teacher exactly what to do. It simply opens the door for an imaginative and innovative teacher.
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Ms. Wessling provides unique and challenging assignments that help students develop both life skills and skills for success in advanced studies. For example, her AP English students go through an innovative exercise where they make grant requests to a fictitious "Society for the American Dream." The assignment requires the students to work together in teams, research real life situations, and develop carefully-written plans and budgets following the guidelines of the assignment. The students are required to present their proposals to a panel of professionals from the community. The panel provides feedback to the team and relays the decision on whether or not their project would be funded. The students are not graded on the funding decision, but are evaluated on their teamwork, analysis, preparation, written and visual documents, and oral presentations. All of these skills are critical as students leave high school and enter advanced education or the workforce. The exercise also draws upon the expertise of community members and builds a bridge between young people and adults in the local area.This particular project has also been featured in the Teaching Channel: