Met with a new teacher today....

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Brendan, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    She asked me where the script to our curriculum was....ergh...I didn't even know how to respond. We have a syllabus and curriculum and pacing guides; along with shared binders for each course. We have monthly course meetings to collaborate, but I refuse to give a script on how to teach. She was an ex-elementary school teacher...is this the typical thing in the younger grades? Let's hope she works out okay...I did not hire her, the former AP did.
     
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  3. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Our curriculum is pretty scripted, but I don't use it. I can't teach that way. Isn't that what we went to school for? IMHO, the scripts are belittling-we went to school to learn how to teach, so why do we need our curriculum to tell us exactly what to say??? As far as t being the norm, I don't know.
     
  4. myangel52

    myangel52 Comrade

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    A lot of newer elementary (and some middle school) "curriculum" sets come with scripts, and many districts have required teachers to follow them word-for-word. My district, for example, uses Story Town for the language arts sets at the elementary level. Each day is scripted out, if I remember correctly, and teachers were told to follow it.

    Fingers crossed for you and for her! :)
     
  5. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    At my school, it is optional to follow the scripts.
     
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I honestly think that the day I was required to follow a script would be the day I would start to look for another place to teach. I can't even begin to imagine teaching by reading words that were written by someone who doesn't know me or my students.
     
  7. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    :yeahthat:
     
  8. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    We use Story town and it's scripted. I follow it but I don't read it out of the book. If that makes sense.
     
  9. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    I had no idea there was such a thing as "scripted" lessons before I joined A to Z. And I am not sure I still really understand - is it totally written out and you repeat the lesson word for word?

    Brendan, I know if anyone can get her onboard it will be you :)
     
  10. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Eek. I'd freak out if someone handed me a script to teach from.
     
  11. KateL

    KateL Habitué

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    What was her reaction when you told her there was no script? Was she disappointed or relieved? She may not have been really looking for one, she just wanted to do what was expected of her. In my district, the elementary teachers are all supposed to be on the same page of the script at the same time every day. :eek:
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2010
  12. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Our elementary school uses a scripted program. If that's what she has used before I wouldn't worry about her asking for it. Asking doesn't mean she feels she needs it, it just means in her head it's no different than asking for anything else in the curriculum. After all, if nobody told her you're not following a scripted program she'd have every reason to think you were based on her past experiences. Make sense? Basically I'm just trying to say that asking for it doesn't really mean that much.
     
  13. SoReady2Teach

    SoReady2Teach Comrade

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    A scripted curriculum? Wow, I've never heard of something like that before. Teachers are supposed to be natural and given the space to adapt to their students needs, a script in my opinion eliminates that.
     
  14. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    I don't even have any student texts/workbooks or teacher resources, so I no worries of my district making me use scripted curriculum.
     
  15. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I would hope it was b/c of what others have stated and it is just something that she's used to and really doesn't want a script. And I agree that if anyone gets her out of wanting a script, it's you, Brenden!!
     
  16. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oh, to have been a fly on the wall to catch your reaction....
     
  17. diana

    diana Rookie

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    When I was in college, one of my professors mentioned that some public schools in Detroit use a scripted reading program called Open Court. From what I've read on scripted teaching, it sounds like it's mainly used by low-achieving schools in an effort to comply with NCLB. Some of these scripted programs sound downright wacky with their expectations for teachers to do exactly as the program dictates (right down to hand gestures and bathroom breaks).
     
  18. dovian

    dovian Comrade

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    Our district has adopted Corrective Reading, which calls for THE USE OF A CLICKER to cue student responses. Like the kind of thing you use to train a dog. And the teachers stuck with this (some of them in high school classes) are absolutely not to deviate from the script.
     
  19. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I did NOT get a Master's Degree and spend 24 years teaching so a writer could tell me the words to use to teach math!

    I've written one or two of those scripts-- for a course I've never taught! (elementary math.)

    It frightens me that our profession has gotten to the point where this is seen as the answer. Too many teachers-- far, far too many teachers-- don't know their material well enough to teach it. Since they don't have the right words, writerss are called in to supply the words.

    There's a reason this stuff is catching on, and it doesn't reflect well upon our profession at all.
     
  20. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    I think you hit on something here, Alice.

    But, I also think scripting is popular to help ensure everyone is teaching the same thing so all kids score well on that damned test.

    May be less a product of teacher quality and more a product of the demands of high-stakes testing.
     
  21. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Alice, ku, I think you are both right. Everything boils down to that stupid test that we stress too much on and the kids know this!

    the good thing about the district I teach in is that teachers plan together so they are all teaching the same thing, but it's not scripted.
     
  22. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    But doesn't that lead us back to the same place?

    SOMETHING is very wrong in way too many classrooms. That high-stakes testing didn't come from a void. It came because too many kids were graduating with a degree that meant nothing, because its holder was functionally illiterate and unable to do more than basic math.

    I don't think we can blame high stakes testing here, I think we need to look at why it was implemented in the first place. And that leads us right back to the teacher in the classroom.
     
  23. jday129

    jday129 Comrade

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    As a elementary person I have some curriculum that is scripted and some that isn't. The purpose of scripted curriculum is to create a common language of learning. I don't follow the script all the time and I am not expected to. Other parts of the curriculum are completely up to me to create/develop based on standards.
     
  24. KateL

    KateL Habitué

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    I think that it's more complicated than something being wrong in a lot of classrooms. I think a lot of it has to do with school culture. Somewhere along the line (or maybe it's always been this way), some students stopped trying. If the school culture isn't one that kicks them in the pants, they graduate without really learning anything. Because really, what school is going to hold back half the class, even at the elementary level? So we get students coming into the high schools without the basics, and with really bad habits when it comes to learning and studying. At some schools, even if you replaced all of the teachers with the best teachers in the area, the students wouldn't improve much unless the school culture changes and the students are motivated to try. One teacher can only do so much - I don't think it's fair to pin this all on the teachers. These scripted curriculums are just misguided attempts to change the school culture.
     
  25. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    I handed her a copy of the syllabus and said talk to me or your mentor if you have any problems. Then she asked for a copy of the teacher's resource manual. Our Western Civ. books is so old we don't even have one as we don't really use the text. I really hope she works out, but we use most of our own materials.
     
  26. SuperFudge

    SuperFudge Rookie

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    We use Story town and I do the same thing you do. I use their ideas, but I do not follow a "script." I teach their "ideas" in a way that meets the needs of my learners.
     
  27. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

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    Scripted lessons have teacher dialogue (usually in bold) where it has exactly what you could say. Most curriculum companies script out the dialogue as a guide, but it's not intended for the teacher to read it word for word. Schools, on the other hand, have their own views about teachers reading scripts. Some scripted programs are Reading Mastery, SFA, Saxon Math,etc. Technically, basals like Open Court and Storytown are not scripted programs, as they do not have an actual script, but lessons are plotted out day by day.


     
  28. pete2770

    pete2770 Comrade

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    Scripted lessons are probably something that should be kept under wraps.

    Can you imagine that discussion on a debate fighting for something?

    "Oh come on, you just read a script, anyone can do that!"

    And how do you come back?

    I had no idea they existed until I read this thread. That's a scary thought indeed - and following those, in my mind, really undermines the profession.
     
  29. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    I think I'm new to this idea of "scripted lessons" also. Back when I started teaching elementary we used basals for reading and on the margins of the TE there was scripted intros for each story and suggested questions for guided reading. I always read through them to see if there was anything interesting and I used the questions somewhat. Is this what we're talking about? Was that scripted?
     
  30. Soccer Dad

    Soccer Dad Cohort

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    Okay, maybe I'm just completely out of the loop or something, but can someone explain to me this "scripted lessons" thing? I don't understand it--a teacher literally reads from a book for the entire period? I know there's resources on how to do a lesson, but this is like actually reading word for word?

    I'm horrified.
     
  31. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Kind of, SoccerDad. We previously used Saxon Math, and each lesson had about a four-page packet that had written out what to say to teach the lesson. It included sample problems, questions to ask, and explanations. I never read it word for word (I just used it sometimes to outline the lesson), but it certainly could be used that way (and seems designed to be).
     
  32. Soccer Dad

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    ...I have a bad feeling my director will catch on to this.
     
  33. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    One scripted program is SRA, a reading program. During the training, you are told that you are to read word for word, get the children to respond absolutely together, correct mistakes in absolutely one way, etc, etc. They preach "to fidelity", which means you have to say everything, pause a certain amount of time, give the students a certain amount of time to respond.I have used this program for 25 years. I would fail the "fidelity" test because I make the program "my own".
     
  34. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    One thing I haven't seen, SoccerDad, is many scripted programs for high school. They may very well be out there, but I've never heard of any...
     
  35. Soccer Dad

    Soccer Dad Cohort

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    I'm speechless. I've honestly never heard of such a program and wish I never did. Like they say, ignorance is bliss.
     
  36. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

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    Scripted progams do have their place. Many scripted programs are used for intensive intervention, and many times the intervention teacher may not have a background in reading, so the script enables them to teach in an accurate, exicit way. I have worked with many teachers who found the script to be very helpful to them. It might not work for everyone in every situation, but they should not be labeled bad or demeaning across the board.
     
  37. Soccer Dad

    Soccer Dad Cohort

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    Not to be argumentative, but shouldn't a teacher have experience and be comfortable with what they're being PAID to teach without such materials? In other words, we should be good at our jobs without these materials. And if a teacher doesn't have the background, as you said, to do something, why are they doing it? It harms the student. I guess this relates back to the idea that there are way too many educators that don't deserve such a title...

    Basically, if a history teacher needs a book to tell him what the definition of the 3/5's Compromise is, then he needs to be out of the classroom. There shouldn't be materials made to walk this guy thru what he should already know by heart!
     
  38. ~mrs.m~

    ~mrs.m~ Comrade

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    You can say that scripts are bad but I think they can be a positive source of info. Teachers who are inexperienced can have a model for themselves to use as needed (hopefully never read from word for word). Universities really do not prepare a teacher to know everything about teaching. Experience really helps. When a new textbook is adopted, there are TONS of resources that probably will never be used. This seems like a useful item. There is so much more to being a good teacher than just what you say during your lesson, so I don't think it is degrading to the profession. BTW, I learned so much about teaching from my school district inservices over the years... more than from my university.
     
  39. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    We used Open Court Reading my first two years, and now we use Imagine It (another version of Open Court). It is scripted, but we are able to make changes. I don't read anything exactly, and I bring in other resources when I don't like what they have.

    But my school has met AYP every year-so I don't think it's only for low-achieving schools.
     
  40. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Why not? Doesn't the kid deserve a qualified teacher?

    Instead of telling an unqualified teacher exactly what to say, why not hire an intervention teacher who has a background in reading?
     
  41. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    I refuse to provide scripts to the teachers. We all collaborate, but I expect each teacher to create their own materials and assessments. They staff knows this and that I demand the best from them and myself. If you don't know your content and you need a script you won't be working for me long. End of Story.
     

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