Teacher Testimony: Why I Support the Common Core Standards

On March 20, North Carolina high school teacher Nancy Gardner testified before a legislative committee about how her students benefit from the Common Core State Standards.

I started teaching in 1974. I am preparing seniors for a very different world now in 2014—some 40 years later. Here are three things my students in 2014 do well

On March 20, North Carolina high school teachers Nancy Gardner and Rod Powell testified before a legislative committee about how their students benefit from the Common Core State Standards.

My name is Nancy Gardner, and I teach senior English students at Mooresville Senior High School in North Carolina. I am a National Board Certified Teacher whose leadership is rooted in my work with the Center for Teaching Quality.

I started teaching in 1974. I am preparing seniors for a very different world now in 2014—some 40 years later.

Here are three things my students in 2014 do well:

  1. Multitask on their devices
  2. Live in the present
  3. Take multiple choice tests

Here are three things students in 2014 struggle with:

  1. Problem solving
  2. Critical reading and writing
  3. Perseverance

These last three skills are the heart and soul of the Common Core literacy standards. The standards outline what my seniors need to know and be able to do to be successful in a rapidly changing world.

They don’t tell me how to teach or what to teach–that’s my job.

My students can Google facts and figures all day, but if they haven’t mastered literacy skills, they won’t be ready for the future. It’s my job to help students learn to read like detectives and write like private investigators. It’s my job to make them read closely, think deeply, and communicate clearly.

The Common Core standards help me focus on the skills these seniors need to be ready for the next part of their lives. Whether my students eventually diagnose what is wrong with my heart or with the engine in my car, they will be critical thinkers and problem solvers.

The Common Core helps me do my job, so my students will be able to do theirs.

Read Part Two–NC teacher Rod Powell’s testimony–here.