Are you teaching to standards?

TLN blogger Bill Ferriter also writes for his school district’s ‘Morning Announcements’ blog in Wake County, North Carolina. In a recent entry, Bill described “My Assessment Nightmare,” in which he ‘confesses’ that until he began to work with his grade-level colleagues in a learning team at Salem Middle School, “I hadn’t even really looked at the standards for the subjects that I was expected to teach! Instead, I taught topics that I knew other teachers in my subject area had been teaching—or that were listed in my set of classroom textbooks.”

It was only after he entered into regular conversations with his fellow teachers about “what content is essential to teach” that he began to truly align his classroom curriculum with state standards and expectations.

It was almost amazing (Read: Embarrassing) to find out that the lessons and units we’d been teaching for so long didn’t directly fit the standards expected by our state. What we found early on was that units we’d spent months delivering were only a small part of the state’s intended curriculum while concepts that we breezed over were emphasized.

Read Bill’s complete reflection here. Are you having these conversations in your school?