Pardon Me, Sir, You're Stepping on my Curriculum

     Once upon a time, there was an exceptional school district in a wonderful community. The citizens of Topnotch valued education, and they raised their children to do the same. In fact, the children were so motivated to learn that the Teachers considered themselves fortunate individuals indeed. For what teacher wouldn't want the satisfaction of teaching  Students who soak up knowledge like sponges? And then strive for more! There was educational bliss in Topnotch.

     The Teachers realized that the Students of Topnotch deserved much more than simply aiming for mastery of the state standards. They knew that the Students would benefit from even higher standards. So all of the Teachers met at their shiny, polished Round Table, sharing best practice, curriculum ideas, and methodology. They worked day and night molding, sculpting, and firing up the curriculum, in order to ensure that their Students would achieve higher standards while being excited to learn. And it worked.

     The children flourished, the citizens were happy, and the Teachers were thrilled that their district was ranked amongst the top in the state. Proud of everything they had worked hard to create, the Teachers were driven to strive for even more success. All was well.

     Then, without warning, Change loomed on the horizon. The state standards were being overtaken by Change, and panic ensued. "Relax," said the Teachers. "We are experts, and we can handle Change. We will again meet at the Round Table. We will learn how to use Change so that the Students of Topnotch continue to thrive and succeed."

     But the Palace did not believe that the teachers were experts. They brought in Outsiders who knew nothing of the exceptional Students and teachers of Topnotch. The Palace unceremoniously removed the shiny, polished, round table, as the teachers looked on in horror and disbelief.

     And this is the sad story of how Topnotch ended up with a scripted curriculum program that comes in a little box. A curriculum that is far inferior to the one that the teachers of Topnotch spent years perfecting. The teachers no longer feel proud. The teachers no longer feel like experts. And the biggest tragedy of all? The students aren't half as excited to learn.

   

8 comments

  1. Sorry - saw a typo after I posted and it annoyed me but I couldn't see how to edit without deleting :(

    It IS awful when we're so confined to a curriculum that teaches to standards and tests. I'm not in the US so no Common State Standards here but we're in the middle of an accreditation process that I think (while the intentions are good) may rock the boat considerably. At the moment we're still able to be the Teachers in your post but how long will it last? (sigh)

    On a side note - I want to nominate you for the Liebster Blog Award (given by bloggers to bloggers to acknowledge and encourage) I REALLY like your posts - they're different from any I've ever read! If you'd like to continue the Liebster tradition you can link back here to see what to do.
    Lynn

    FunintheFours

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  3. Thank you so much, Lynn! As a new blogger, it's so nice to know I'm not writing to an audience of no one!
    Darlene

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  4. I couldn't of said it better myself. I went through this with my last district. Now I teach for an online school, and we have pre-made lessons, but they are fantastic. I use TpT for my creativity. Hang in there! You will find a way to put your own unique twist on whatever looms in that little box.
    :) Lindsay of 241 teachers
    ps - happy to be a new follower! :)

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  5. I try 241 Teachers! I try! And you're right, TpT is a great outlet for creativity!
    Take care,
    Darlene

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  6. Great summary and sadly so true...everyday we see this and the losers are the children.
    Best
    Tama

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  7. That story brought a tear to my eye. No, wait- had me seeing red!! I think it's time for a teacher revolution. Let the experts come and teach the "research-based" gruel they want us to force feed. I'm really hoping the pendulum swings back to some sort of normalcy soon. Thanks for an interesting take on the continuing drama.

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  8. I'll keep you posted on our battle!

    Together in Arms,
    Darlene

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