Take a deep breath, hold your nose, and jump!
6/5/2012 By Michael Roth
On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to attend a Common Core Standards session focussed on Math in NYC. Friday, it was a session on Language Arts in Atlantic City. Both sessions were run by the fabulous folks of ASCD.
Today's presenter remarked that sometimes you have to "take a deep breath, hold your nose and jump" when refering to the rollout of common core standards. For a brief moment, I envisioned my childhood memories of a group of us kids gathering 'round the old fishing hole. Despite the temperature of the water, we would do the same-- take a deep breath, hold our noses, and jump into the crisp, cold waters of the McMichael's Creek. We didn't know how cold it would be (we would not even test with our toes), how deep the water, or how strong the current. But we did know one thing-- the group of us would be refreshed, ready to out last each other, and ready to explore the world presented by the cool, fresh waters of a cold-water creek during the hot days of summer.
As I reflect upon the past two days of learning associated with the common core standards, I am ready to shed all the political arguments for or against the standards and take the dive. I am ready to take the dive based upon the fact that we in education are ready for a cold water swim and we better do it with our best friends at our side. Through both presentations, we learned about unpacking the standards; defining the diffference between knowing, doing and understanding; and recognizing that our past efforts (although well intended at the time) might not be enough. I am the proud father of a 10 year old and a 7 year old. I want them to be able to swim, and be supported by great teachers who haven't been afraid to let cold waters inhibit them from taking the plunge. We owe it to each other, and our students.
So as the next several years in public education continue to unfold, I know I will be surrounding myself with some reliable and knowledgeable people and finding the pefect watering hole....
Just so I am ready to jump!