I teach middle school math for a large urban district. My school district was “transitioning” to the Common Core during this past school year (2012-2013). This transition consisted of the implementation of two Common Core units designed by the district. Each unit took approximately one week to teach, and consisted of a Formative Assessment Lesson (FAL), standardized homework problems, and a unit test.
A few days prior to each of these two units, teachers were offered a voluntary one hour training session after school. Additionally, throughout the year we have been exposed to piecemeal information about Common Core at faculty and department meetings. This information has been in the form of lecture and PowerPoint presentations that have detailed the shifts in focus, coherence, and rigor. I would estimate my total Common Core training time at less than one day, yet I have been required to make a substantial shift in my instructional content and pedagogy for those two units.
This year (2013-2014), we are to fully implement Common Core. Our content and instruction is to completely shift to align with the new standards. We do not yet have textbooks that align with Common Core to guide us. Due to a grant our district has received, teachers are being offered eight hours of Common Core training for the upcoming year. Four hours of training will be provided at the start of the school year, and the remaining four hours will be provided midyear. To say that I feel unprepared for the upcoming year is an understatement. We teachers with approximately a day and a half of training and dated textbooks will be expected to correctly implement vastly new standards next year.
I’m curious as to the amount and quality of Common Core training provided by other districts. How much training did you receive last year? Was it productive? What is planned for the upcoming year? How prepared do you feel to implement the new standards?