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Common Core Primer For Substitute Teachers

Common Core and Common Sense

In 2004, a report, titled Ready or Not: Creating a High School Diploma That Counts, found that employers and colleges were expecting more from high school graduates than ever before. The report also determined that high school graduates fell short of these expectations and that the American school system was not providing the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in college and future careers.  The report also stated that the value of the high school diploma had lost value and did not allow the graduate to compete beyond high school. The Common Core initiative became the solution to this problem, setting rigorous standards nationwide.

The Common Core standards were developed and released in 2010 by a group of teachers and experts. Since then, 45 states have adopted this educational reform. The Common Core is a set of academic standards in English Language Arts and mathematics. It consists of learning goals, which depict what students should know and be able to do at the end of each grade level. These learning goals ensure that every student will graduate from high school with the same knowledge and skills needed to succeed in college. The Common Core develops the critical-thinking, problem-solving, and analytic skills that students need to be successful, and these standards provide a way for teachers to measure the progress of all students throughout the year and confirm that students are on the path to success.

Classroom teachers are not the only ones who are being affected by Common Core standards. Common Core will also change the role of substitutes in the classroom and add further responsibilities. The following list ways in which substitutes will be affected by these nationwide standards:

  • Substitutes Needed During Teacher Training

Under Common Core, teachers will be required to continue their education and attend new college programs and seminars that are focused on the tools needed to meet Common Core standards. Teacher training means brief periods of teacher absence and a greater need for substitutes in the classroom. Substitutes may be asked to spend more time teaching math or ELA concepts, rather than just being a placement in the classroom. This means substitutes will need to have background knowledge on Common Core as well as the concepts being taught.

  • English/Mathematical Concepts

The Common Core standards require a change in the technique of educating. The standards have exact expectations for instructors to ensure each child is prepared for the following year. While teachers are free to make lesson plans, they must be taught in ways specified by the standards. Substitutes will also be required to teach under the guidelines of these expectations.

  • Technology

Common Core incorporates research and media skills in every subject. Technology has transformed the nature of research, and students need to be able to evaluate and process the information that technology makes available. Substitutes will need to be  able to guide them through this process.

Attending an educational conference will give you the knowledge and experience needed to be a great substitute in a Common Core classroom. Do you think that it is the responsibility of a substitute to teach using common core or do you feel that this should only be the primary teacher's responsibility? Feel free to comment below.

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