Information Overload

We had day one of our 2 day common core training.  My brain is so fried that I can't even begin to comprehend what it is I'm supposed to know.  I just feel like I am doing everything wrong.  As I stated before, I have been teaching so long under the testing regime where we were on a deadline for everything, that I don't know how to handle the idea of a little teaching freedom.  Before, we were supposed to follow the curriculum exactly as I was, do not deviate from the teachers guide, do not do your own things, do not collect $200 if you pass GO!  Now, we are told to use our curriculum as we see fit, do what you want (as long as it meets the standards and multiple standards at once, mind you) and make sure it's noisy to show that the students are actively engaged. 

Honestly, I didn't care for the morning part of the training.  Part of it was I don't care for one of the trainers.  She can not present well and I tune her out.  The other trainer is OK, but still not too lively.  The afternoon trainer was better.  But we spent almost 2 hours on Thinking Maps.  I grew up in the time of graphic organizers.  According to today's information, graphic organizers are bad, thinking maps are good.  It's like trying to teach an old dog who isn't that old but is totally set in their ways new tricks!  Again, my mind is racing. 

After being given the task of creating all 8 thinking maps for myself, I see them being useful in the class, after a long time of working with the kids to create them together.  I will go back on Thursday and try to do a thinking map or 2 with my kids and start introducing them now.  Mind you, we've had trainings before, but there was never a big push to do them.  I guess there is now, as we will have district people coming to look in our rooms to see if we are incorporating them.  That and the technology piece that we don't have yet!  Yippee! 

If nothing else, today was a wake up call that I need to change what I am doing and give myself permission to change things up.  I don't need to be on the same page as the others, as long as I am working on standards that will help my students be successful.  I'm not excited about thinking thematically, as sadly, my brain does not work that way.  It never has.  But I will do what I can to get it there.   


  1. Yes! Exactly - its a it like feeling someone pull the rug from under your feet. This is the first year we are to be teaching math common core. All we have are standards and what they are expected to know at the end of each quarter, but no map or materials to get there. Plus, now we are told next year will be ELA. If not for this amazing blogging community with their great ideas I think I'd be losing my mind. Good luck! Maria

  2. I have a feeling my school/district is going to be in the same boat with Reading/Writing soon, too. There's no way our current (dated) basal curriculum meets common core. I just switched school districts and in my previous one, we had a few common core in-services. My new district has had zero since I've been there. I keep mentioning things to my teammates and they look at me like I have 5 heads. Common core is going to hit them like a ton of bricks! This is such a tough teaching year for me, too simply because it's hard to prepare for next year, because I have no idea what next year will look like. I feel like most of what I'm doing now is going to go right out the window, so it's hard to invest in the units and you know, make large changes and whatnot. Hang in there!