Teaching in a Common Core World: #CCSSteach

By Anne O'Brien

"The most obvious benefit so far has been student engagement. As students take more of an active role in their own learning, they stay engaged and motivated. As we expect them to talk about their ideas and questions, they begin to control and use academic language, which enables them to read more complex text as well as express themselves in writing."

- California Educator Kathy Harris, on how students in her school are benefiting from changes in instructional practice made thanks to the Common Core

While at the national level we continue to hear a great deal about the politics surrounding the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), particularly when state legislatures and governors jump into a debate fueled by misinformation, at the local level educators are busy doing the hard work of implementation. And while they may have concerns over the resources available, the professional learning they are (or aren’t) receiving and the role that CCSS-aligned assessments will be playing in their – and their students – future, many are already seeing benefits from the standards for students.

On October 2 at 8 pm ET, we at the Learning First Alliance (LFA) will host a Twitter Town Hall focused on “Teaching in a Common Core World,” using the hashtag #CCSSteach. The event will provide a forum for those educators impacted by CCSS to share how they are acclimating to the standards. In particular, we’ll look to teachers to discover how they are integrating these standards in their practice and how students are being impacted in the classroom.

This event builds on the momentum sparked by our July Twitter Town Hall on the need to get Common Core implementation right. There, a large group of teachers, principals, superintendents, school board members, parents and community leaders came together to share their thoughts using the hashtag #CCSStime. During the chat, many participants agreed that we need additional time for formal implementation, including a delay in tying the results of CCSS-aligned assessments to high-stakes decisions. Since the event, the U.S. Department of Education has taken a good step in that direction.

In addition to hosting Twitter Town Halls, LFA operates the podcast series Get It Right, which features interviews with national, state and local education leaders – including teachers – on their experiences with CCSS, exploring successful examples of implementation in states like California, Delaware, Kansas, Kentucky and Maryland. We also offer a robust clearinghouse of CCSS-related materials from our member organizations and written Q & As with stakeholders offering important perspectives on the Common Core.

Please join us October 2, and take a moment to spread the word on this important Twitter chat by asking your followers and friends to participate using the hashtag #CCSSteach. You can also follow @LearningFirst to find out more details about the event in the coming weeks. If there are any questions you would like to pose during the chat, feel free to send them in advance to Anne O’Brien at obriena@learningfirst.org.