As we unpack, decode, and analyze the Common Core, one thing is certain. This year will be a transitional one for most schools in California. Uncertainty reigns. Even state assessments for this spring are currently undecided. * While the students may not see any major changes this year, the teaching staff is feeling anxious. Some of my teachers have told me how excited they are about the new standards which encourage complexity over quantity, delving deeper into subjects. But many of my teachers are nervous about the lack of clarity. Materials are in flux with indecision about which textbook to use, the old one or the new untested one.
This time of change is a great opportunity for school librarians to lead. I see this transition as fertile ground to plant seeds for stronger collaboration between teacher librarians and classroom teachers. At schools across the country, new curriculum is moving into place. Teacher librarians can embed ourselves into that new curriculum. The first step is to become better informed about the changes so we can help guide the transition in our schools.
School Library Journal has published a series of articles about the Common Core through the lens of the school library. Those articles are archived here. http://www.slj.com/category/opinion/on-common-core/
In the Northern Region, all the CSLA workshops for the upcoming year will examine the Common Core and school libraries. The focus of each workshop may be slightly different, but the theme will be the same. The first workshop will be in San Francisco in early December. Details will be posted here. The 2014 CSLA conference in San Diego will be another learning opportunity.
This is our chance to embrace the mantle of lifelong learners as we explore what this change means for school libraries, our curriculum, our teachers, and our students. Let us support each other as we take on this new challenge.