This whole Common Core fuss

I thought I should focus my first full blog post on Common Core, since that’s the big issue in education right now. Only five states have chosen not to adopt Common Core, so I figure most of us know what it is, or at least know it’s the biggest thing right now since Marzano.

A lot of people have pushed against Common Core, but I am for it. Not only is it just practical to standardize what our students learn from state to state, but it gives us a nice guideline of what we should be teaching. I also like that it shifts the focus from “what” to “how.” I know our students can memorize facts, but I want to know that they know and understand what they’re being taught.

students

To be frank, what scares me the most is the role of librarians in this Common Core world. I attended the annual FAME (Florida Association for Media in Education) conference two weeks ago, and naturally Common Core was mentioned in every single session I attended. But it was one session in particular that scared the bejesus out of me, and it’s because the presenter cheerily proclaimed that as media specialists, we are in a great position with Common Core because we are subject area experts! We can be the ambassadors to Common Core for the other teachers! We can lead the way! I thought, “whaaaaaaat!”

I should be thrilled, right? With our profession in such a tenuous position currently with so many schools cutting their media programs, how wonderful is it that Common Core has placed us in such a high prestige place? I suppose it would be wonderful, if I felt like I could truly be the leader of Common Core at my school. But honestly, I don’t know that much about it myself. I know it’s good because it puts a focus on informational literacy and non-fiction reading, but that’s about it for how it affects my daily life. Is it terrible that that’s all I know? Maybe… but I’m trying. I’m sitting at home right now in the middle of a webinar all about Common Core and librarians. It’s the first of a multi-part series of webinars, so I’m hoping to know something at least by the spring. (Joking! Joking…?)

Is it just me? Are there any other librarians out there scared out of their wits? I like to feel like I know what I’m doing, but I’ll admit I don’t feel ready to be the leader of Common Core at my school. Is there hope for me? I’ll keep you posted.