How common is this?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Mathemagician, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    Sep 19, 2011

    I'm student teaching, and I really like my school and cooperating teacher, but I'm just wondering if this is very much normal or out of the norm.

    At our district, all teachers of the same course (for instance Honors Bio), must take the same exact tests, quizzes, and assignments, must cover the same material on the same day, and at the same pace. What it amounts to is new teachers simply following trying to keep up with more senior teachers. I find this hard to do given that even in the same course, groups of students can be very different. I can understand parts of it (same tests, same grading etc), but it seems a bit rigid to move at exactly the same pace and give (more or less) the same lessons. Is your school like that, or is this unusual?
     
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  3. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Sep 19, 2011

    We are given a calendar that tells us which chapters need to be covered throughout the semester. How we pace each lesson/chapter is up to us (you just have to make sure you don't spend too much time on one chapter--otherwise, you'll end up racing at the end of the semester to finish covering the rest of the material).

    As far as quizzes and assessments go, some teachers give lots and lots of quizzes and tests and others only give some sort of weekly test.

    Anyway, as far as my district is concerned, we have freedom to give whichever daily assignments and assessments we choose. In the end, we all end up covering the same material; however, we all have our own ways of accomplishing this.
     
  4. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    We need to be teaching the same exact content at the same time.
     
  5. LiveNLearn

    LiveNLearn Comrade

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    We are given or make a pacing guide that has a little bit of wiggle room, but not much. Sadly, it's not what i learned in college... I didn't expect this.

    I student taught in a school that would have died if they had a pacing guide, so there are schools out there that don't follow this idea.
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    With the emphasis on NCLB these days, this phenomenon is more and more common. A few departments at my school do things this way, while others do not. The departments that do are usually the ones that are tested (Math, English).
     
  7. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Sep 19, 2011

    We give the same assessments, and we cover the same targets. What we use to teach those varies.
     
  8. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    We have none of this. We use our own materials, our own pace, our own assessments. It's the opposite extreme of what you have, and I actually don't like it. Two teachers can teach the same course, and yet cover radically different things.

    For example, I teach Geography this year. I try to cover the entire world most years, but often am forced to skip something due to time constraints. That usually ends up being the chapter on Africa or Australia because I have the least background on those, and they fall toward the end of the book. However, last year's teacher simply went straight through the book chapter by chapter, and without a yearlong plan. Thus, he ran out of time and ended the year without covering Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa ,or Australia. And yet another teacher focuses on map skills and physical geography, and so zips through every single continent, but spends very little time on culture.

    This is a mess. So it's a double edged sword really..
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 20, 2011

    We give the same trimester and comprehensive exams, but our tests and quizzes throughout the marking period are up to us.

    I don't even give the exact same questions on tests from 2nd to 3rd period; each class gets a test or quiz that's different from the others. That way, I'm testing what they know about math, not what they were able to hear about the particulars of another class test.
     
  10. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    Sep 20, 2011

    yes, common assessments and summative assessments in the last district I taught. The 8th grade language arts teachers had to come up with the common goals and turn them into the P. It wasn't pretty as they each wanted to teach what was their passion. It's a trend to collect data.
     
  11. LiteratureLover

    LiteratureLover Rookie

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    It's common where I teach. We have Common Assessments that are given to us from the board. They tell us which unit we have to teach in what order, and what day we have to give the tests. So, my students have to take it, and the students at the other high school in the county take the same test.
     
  12. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    We teach the same thing at the same time, and give the same assessments. Homework and teaching style vary. We have pacing guides for every subject.
     
  13. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    You can standardize tests, but you can't standardize kids!
     
  14. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    In the last several years we have gradually been working towards this until I'd say we're pretty close to the same by now.
     
  15. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Lessons, homework, assignments, and tests all are required to be the same. So very fun...
     
  16. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    We have to give the same lessons, but not at the same time. The pacing is kind of set, but it's not life or death if you don't get it done on the exact day you are supposed to.

    The assessments are another story though, they are required to be done on the same exact day, not the same time though since our schedules are all different due to lunch, recess, PE, art/music/library times varying.
     
  17. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I think I need to make myself more clear: We don't give the same weekly/monthly assessments; however, we do give the same quarterly assessments! The whole district takes the same quarterly assessments (of course they vary by grade-level).
     
  18. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Sep 21, 2011

    In my last school, we had 4 reading assessments that we had to give throughout the year. They had a reading piece and questions that should mirror concepts we had been teaching.

    We also had 5 essay modalities we had to cover (compare/contrast, persuasive, etc.) and they had to be graded with the same rubric and put into the portfolio, along with the reading assessments. But the topic of the essays could be whatever the teacher wanted.

    At this school, our exams are supposed to be similar, so we usually start with the same one and add or delete questions, or reword them.
     
  19. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Sep 21, 2011

    In my last school, it was common. They had common assessments every 6 weeks. At the school I'm at now, each teacher teaches the way they want to and as long as they cover what's required they can teach what they want in the order they want.
     
  20. student1st

    student1st Rookie

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    Sep 21, 2011

    This is why I love the private sector or at least my school because there was soooooo much freedom. We just have to complete all the state standards by the last day of the school.
     
  21. beccmo

    beccmo Comrade

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    Sep 21, 2011

    Our district wants us to be as common as possible. Seeing as how our high school is so small it is not so difficult within the science department. I am the only teacher of 2 courses, and have a couple single sections of others.

    One of my colleagues and I have always planned together whenever we had common courses, using the same assessments. With copy limits that means we can create only one class set of exams instead of two.
    Another colleague and I touch base on topics for the week. Our styles are very different, so we rarely use each other's teaching material. We do look at our proposed tests so we can have some common questions.
     

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