I. Curriculum and Instruction
I believe that curriculum and instructional strategies should be selected and implemented systematically, with fidelity after gathered input from all stakeholders regarding the effectiveness of meeting standards and builds skills for career and college readiness.
I believe this because I have experienced and witnesses strengths and deficits of the curriculum adoption processes. I participated in roles when curriculum was adopted that allowed me identified processes and considerations that have either a positive, negative or no impact on effective curriculum and instruction. As a parent of three who have been impacted by the shift to implement CCSS curriculum beginning in kindergarten, first and 5th grade to what still feels like the beginning and implementation as they are in 4th, 5th and 9th grade. I also have been a teacher acclimating to the shift in instructional strategies and the curriculum selected for me. And prior to CCSS I have selected curriculum and instructional strategies in a private sector as they aligned with our mission and beliefs.
There are many issues and aspects of curriculum and instruction from simply trying to meet CCSS and NGSS, instruction and assessment balance, implementing evidence-based instructional practices, project based learning, differentiation, the technological components, modifications and accommodations for accessibility, equitable resources, school-to-home support, stakeholder input and the ever-pressing professional development
The curriculum is only as good as the intrustruction. Professional development as it is instrumental in quality instruction. From the beginning of a teacher’s career in public education to experienced teacher’s professional development requires intentional and appropriate training and development to really deliver effective instruction to our students. In public education, time is precious as there is not enough in a contracted day to address all the components of planning, preparing and delivering quality instruction. The most common feedback from teachers is that relevant professional development is planned based on level/subject. For example, this year our district adopted new math curriculum after two years of using Engaged New York to meet CCSS. The training was minimal compared to the demand and cumbersome planning and material preparation required of this math curriculum. Devising a plan for continued support and professional development for instruction with this curriculum would better address the needs of teachers for implementation of a new curriculum and/or supplemental curriculum and instruction. When our teachers cried out for support and training with this curriculum, the task then fell on the site administrators to reorganize and sacrifice other areas of professional development to compensate. With collaboration to reorganization and protocols in place to plan for extended professional development to improve instruction and the implementation process, the district and its sites can be proactive in supporting teachers in successful implementation of curriculum and instruction.
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