While 45 States and WashingtonDC have accepted the Common Core Standards, the transition of educational standards has not been a cakewalk for all teachers. During these initial hours of dilemma, teachers from Community formed by HighlandsElementary Schools, Henry Hudson Regional, and Atlantic Highlands Elementary have set up an altogether different benchmark by imparting a few teachers training of Common Core Standards. On December 5, 2013, the training program named “Common Core Black Belt” was organized at the HenryHudsonRegionalSchool.
“Common core standards are not just about new curriculum of Math and English for each grade. It also is about the new ways to teach and learn we felt a strong urge to develop human capital and teaching resources that would make our commitment to comply with common core standards as a swift and smooth as possible. The standards of learning as per common core are pretty rigorous, we have been tweaking, and altering since 2010” says Supervisor of Instruction and Curriculum and for PK-12, Daniel Loughran.
Black Belt training program for the Common Core standards was a part of the preparation process. The training provided by The Common Core Institute comprises of sturdy array of teaching practicums. During each webinar, all the participants of the program including school administrators and teachers had to engross deep to understand the standards. Grasping through application of each standard was equally engaging.
Since, the new standards need teachers to adapt to various new teaching techniques and practices, going through the training program with colleagues was of some relief. Teachers could share there concerns and experiences, thoughts and ideas all with their colleagues. While learning, the achievements of “belts” kept them moving forward by indicating their level of gained expertise. Thus in the end of the program the teachers who secured “Black Belt” have emerged as the precious and fine-tuned resources.
Far too many students had to take up remedial courses in college to prepare them to be successful competitors in the real world. The standards have been designed since this gap in education and learning was wide and affecting future of far too many children. Now by the time a student is from high school they would be ready to face the challenges in their career head on.
Since the teaching has to be much more in depth, the teachers too have to adapt to the new ways of instructing. The basic concepts will need to be clarified and taught in such a manner that the students can grasp them thoroughly. Earlier there were too many topics to be taught and thus, important concepts too were taught briefly. Teachers had to adjust their entire approach. As CCS need an exceptional understanding of the topics and fluency in each one is mandatory. The curriculum is not widespread with mere touch and goes on concepts. Now teachers help students master each topic thoroughly before they move on to the next one.
Apart from the black belt program, the community of tri-district schools also decided to use textbooks in alignment with CCS for Math and English language. Furthermore, incorporation of software developed as per common core standards in their assessment programs has been of great help too. They now have assistance with curriculum, training programs, and software that will enable them for glorious victory.