Antoine de Saint-Exupery said it best: "A goal without a plan is just a wish."
Needed in some schools: Stop wishing; start planning!
My goal for my department is to successfully implement Common Core Reading and Writing standards in our curriculum by the 2014-2015 school year.
My plan began two years ago.
Year 1 (12-13)
Step 1: "Be an expert." I need to become an expert in Common Core Reading and Writing standards. My timeline to become an expert: 1 school year. I will attend conferences, gather information, and spend time reviewing the different standards.
Step 2: "Play." Design my own activities that utilize the language of the Common Core and try them out in my class.
Step 3: "Collaborate." Work with someone else in my discipline to expand my practical understanding of the standards.
Step 4: "Shake Hands." Once I know my stuff, I will have the members of my department meet the standards; We will discuss them as a group (both small and large) and have the opportunity to develop an understanding of what the standards are asking.
Year 2 (13-14)
Step 5: "Integrate." Have members of my department create assignments that align with Common Core Reading Standards. This is done collaboratively, with large group sharing of outcomes.
Step 6: "Evaluate, Re-Create/Curate." Have members of the department utilize the standards in the creation of common assessments, collect data on student performance, then tweak for future use. Share and curate assessments that are created. This is where we are now.
Step 7: "Be comfortable." Department members are familiar with the Reading Standards, have several resources at hand, and have designed lessons, activities and assessments that reflect the standards. No one is a stranger to the standards, and colleagues are supportive.
Step 8: "Repeat with a twist." The department will go back to Year 1, step 4 with the Writing Standards, and cycle through steps 5-7 with them during the latter half of this year and first part of the 14-15 year.
Year 3 (January, 2015)
Step 9: "Relax." The department should feel comfortable (and perhaps slightly smug) about their mastery of the Common Core Standards.
Is it perfect? No, of course not. It won't be all smooth either.
But it is a plan, and it does help my goal become realized.
Which gives me an excuse to say:
"I love it when a plan comes together." --John "Hannibal" Smith.