Teaching Common Core Standards as a Team

The longer I review the learning expectations of the ELA Common Core standards, the more it becomes obvious to me how teachers will need to work collaboratively to help students learn reading and writing to the depths that will be needed to meet these new standards. Working collaboratively on the same topics across disciplines will be an absolute necessity for teachers in middle and high school. Each content area teacher will need to think about how the skills required for student mastery in reading and writing are used in his or her own discipline and then be responsible for teaching students how to read or write in the discipline as a professional of that discipline would. This will be a gigantic paradigm shift for teachers who have been used to simply closing the door and teaching “cover to cover” from a textbook. Unfortunately, many teachers that I have heard at meetings and trainings still have not realized that this shift in thinking will need to take place for student success. Many still think they will just be substituting one set of standards for a new – albeit more difficult – set of standards and that teaching will continue as it has for the past 30 years.  When the time for testing comes, they will miss the boat and be left wondering why their students are not able to demonstrate proficiency on the new CC assessments. The game has changed.  The sooner we realize that a group of heads all focused on the same goals are better than a single teacher, the more successful we will be. What has your school been doing to foster teacher collaboration in the Common Core Standards?  Please feel free to share your comments on this topic.