StateImpact Florida
4:46 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Three Questions For Teachers About Common Core Standards, Part 3

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 12:46 pm

Teresa Stillman teaches at Cannella Elementary in Hillsborough County.

John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Teresa Stillman teaches at Cannella Elementary in Hillsborough County.

Here’s another round of Q & A with teachers about the switch to Common Core State Standards. part 1 is here and part 2 is here.

Name: Teresa Stillman

School: Cannella Elementary in Hillsborough County

Teaches: Fifth Grade

Experience: 17 years

Q: How well prepared do you feel for the switch to Common Core?

A: I think I feel really well-prepared. The math department has been really good about phasing in lots of training for us. In our faculty meetings at school we’ve been talking about them. And the kids have started them in Kindergarten and first grade too, so my kids will have a background by the time they get to me – which is nice.

Q: Do you think the standards are an improvement?

A: Absolutely. Yes. The idea of being able to teach in depth and really at a high level of rigor and emphasizing so much problem-solving – I think especially the Standards for Mathematical Practice – that get the kids talking and really problem-solving are a really great improvement.

Also, having things that are common among states because there’s so much movement. And plus we compare schools state to state, so if everybody’s teaching something different it’s not really a fair comparison.

Q: How will Common Core change the way you do your job?

A: I’m going to have to be teaching some different things. There are different standards coming into fifth grade math…so I’m going to have to learn how to teach those. We’re going to be multiplying and dividing fractions, and that’s always been in middle school. So I’m going to have to learn how to teach those and all the tricks that go along with it.

But also giving up a lot of the real teaching to kids, because this is about them coming up with problem-solving methods and not me telling them how to do it.

Name: Karen Newhall

School: Anna Maria Elementary in Manatee County

Teaches: Second grade

Experience: 30 years

Q: How well prepared do you feel for the switch to Common Core?

A: I feel very prepared. Very prepared. We’ve been talking about this all last year, talked to the K-1 teachers as they were coming back from their trainings. Also we discussed it in workshops at school.

Q: Do you think the standards are an improvement?

A: Yes. I think it’s going to be wonderful that it’s going to be uniform throughout the country, throughout the county, when children move. I like that the teachers have more freedom to use the materials that they wish to use to teach the standards.

Q: How will Common Core change the way you do your job?

A: I don’t have enough information about that yet. If you want to talk to me in four days after I’ve done four days of workshops I could probably answer that better.

 

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