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World's Best Advice for your Common Cold!

95. REPOST Feeling ill: Common cold or common core? (part 2of 2)

CONTINUED from part 1

Feeling ill: Common cold or common core?(part 2)

common cold suffering causes teacher to ponder that other problems in life catch on like viruses…so question all the authoritative instructions to see what evidence they are based on (same for cold remedies!)

Understanding the outbreak: Standards vs. initiatives

First, separate the symptoms from the cause. This is true of cold viruses, we all present symptoms differently. The same holds true for the standards.

Let me define this virus for a moment. It is not the standards themselves. Just as a cold virus is not cold weather, though related. Common Corefluenza is the deluge of “the standards DEFINITELY say you MUST teach like this” and “these modules are EXACTLY how you MUST organize your instruction” and nearly anything with the term “EXEMPLAR.”…..

…..(discussion of education standards issue)

Home remedies

I am quite literally writing this with a humidifier running, rapidly cooling ginger tea, a pile of cough drops and, yes, Kleenex shoved in my nose. We are all friends here.Often times the best ways to fix what ails you begin at home. The same holds true for helping yourself deal with making sense out of all of the options swirling around.

…… (more discussion of education standards issue)

4) Be innovative and reflective. None of this should be read as suggesting that we fight to keep things the same for the sake of keeping them the same, just as we shouldn’t change everything just because it sounds like a good idea. We do have a long way to go to educating every child, and that road is paved with thoughtfulness and reflection. Take the CCSS as an invitation to experiment with new approaches and be certain your criteria for success is not if you met someone’s expectation for an initiative, but if it led your students to new thinking and more developed independent practice.

Wash your hands regularly: Don’t spread germs

Cover your mouth when you cough. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water. If a questionable “MUST” initiative doesn’t sound right, don’t spread it around.

Christopher Lehman is an author, a speaker and a senior staff developer at the Teachers College Reading & Writing Project at Columbia University. His latest book, “Energize Research Reading and Writing,” is now available. He can be found on his blog and on Twitter @iChrisLehman.