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"Educators need to prepare kids to be career and college ready, but they also need to prepare them for their present world. The Common Core State Standards set out to do that. They're not perfect, but they are a starting point" (Peter DeWitt).
The standards are not a curriculum. Standards are targets for what students should know and be able to do. Curricula are the instructional plans and strategies that educators use to help their students reach those expectations. Central to a supportive school are teachers, administrators, and other caring adults who take a personal interest in each student and in the success of each student. A whole child approach to education is essential to realizing the promise of the standards. Only when students are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged will they be able to meet our highest expectations and realize their fullest potential.
In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we're looking at how we are designing course content, choosing appropriate instructional strategies, developing learning activities, continuously gauging student understanding, adjusting instruction, and involving parents and families as partners to support our students' success. You'll hear from
- Peter DeWitt is an elementary school principal in New York and the School Administrators Association of New York State's 2013 New York State Outstanding Educator. DeWitt writes the Finding Common Ground blog for Education Week and is the author of Dignity for All: Safeguarding LGBT Students (Corwin Press).
- Thomas Hoerr, a former teacher and principal, is the current head of New City School in St. Louis, Missouri. Hoerr is the author of numerous books and articles, including the recent book Fostering Grit: How do I prepare my students for the real world? and the "Principal Connection" column in Educational Leadership. He also facilitates the ASCD Multiple Intelligences Professional Interest Community and has presented internationally on multiple intelligences theory.
- Rich McKinney is an assistant principal for a middle school in Knoxville, Tenn., and the 2012 Outstanding Social Studies Teacher for the state of Tennessee. In addition to his administrative responsibilities, McKinney also serves as a professional development specialist for Knox County Schools and is a Common Core coach for the state of Tennessee.
What "shifts" are teachers making in order to effectively implement the Common Core State Standards and support student success?