Teaching: Scripted Curricula Cripple Teachers

Overwhelm_life21 During Miss Mimi's rookie
year, her school used a scripted reading program and a games-based math
program.  In her second year of teaching, it adopted a balanced
literacy approach to reading and writing, began a brand new word study
program and implemented a totally new math curriculum, in addition to
re-writing their science and social studies lessons. 
In her third year, they changed word study programs, as the science and
social studies scope and sequence went through another overhaul. 
In her fourth year, the school adopted  a third word study program, and
instituted a battery of new tests.  This constant flux, it is no
exaggeration to say, has "crippled teachers."   As we move
into a new era of austerity, I also wonder how much it cost to sell,
plan, implement, and evaluate all of those efforts. - JT (cross posted from TWIE)

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  • I thought the comments by Miss Mimi were reflective of the feelings of many thoughtful teachers. Schools and school districts have been in search of the bullet proof and "teacher proof" curriculum for the whole of my professional life. I don't think it will ever be found, it does not exist.

    Basically the PM strategy is yet another attempt at teacher proofing education. One problem with this entire effort is a lack of understanding that teaching is a very individualistic thing, once that door closes it is you and the students. We can work out all kinds of ideas collectively and in groups, but the actual work itself is highly individualistic.

    The plans and ideas for reform are being driven by standards that are uniform, but must be applied in a very individualized work setting. A balance must be struck that respects teachers as intelligent people who must adapt to the reality siting in front of them, those who fail to adapt will fail to teach.

    Rod Estvan

  • Yes rod, and if you are appointed, put coaches back in the classroom. Or lay them off if they may bump any teacher. That is one thing I don't get about Geohagan's lawsuit. If a teacher leaves teaching to become a coach they should have signed a paper that says they forfeit their years of experience. We're professionals, we're paid well. First year teachers aside, if I need a coach, E-3 me. I'm sick of the myriad crises of legitimacy that are these coaches, consultants, and whatever elses.

  • In reply to cklaus76:

    Totally agree, cklaus. Coach/PD "professionals"...if you are that good, please get back in the classroom where your skills are actually needed. I just don't buy the "I needed to serve students in another way". CK is exactly right, any good, reflective teacher gets better every year without "coaching". If they don't, they should get out of the profession.

  • Does anyone think before they type? No professional teacher I know thinks of educating students as a game. If you need a "coach" then maybe you are playing too much rather than reading and reflecting on your teaching practice.

  • Imagine a corporation run this way . . . we're going to take THIS approach . . . no, let's try THIS. . . uh, this looks good too. Let's do it. All I can say is that this perpetual flip flopping reveals CPS for what it is . . . a ship of fools and a colossal waster of money. It's criminal, and the people at the top should be indicted for theft.

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