Del. celebrates year one of Common Core
By Amy Cherry

Engaged teachers from Delaware's public schools are meeting in Dover to share best practices and lessons learned during the first year of implementing the Common Core standards.

The 2010 national Teacher of the Year, Sarah Brown Wessling, traveled from Iowa, to be the keynote speaker. She says no matter what side you sit on in the Common Core debate, teachers must remember...

"At the heart of Common Core is asking us to teach students to think, and what these teachers have been engaged in is trying to find ways in which they can help teacher students how to become autonomous thinkers, and that's a real arduous process; it's very complex," she said.

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The Common Core state standards are a set of consistent guidelines for what students must know at each grade level in math and English to ensure they're prepared for life after graduation.

Wessling cautions implementing Common Core is a long process, calling it "complicated and messy work." She points to an education overhaul in Finland that took 30 years to complete and says, in time, teachers will grow with the Common Core standards.

"That means that teachers are becoming acclimated enough with the standards to understand what they mean for their students and their schools and how to still have the kinds of classrooms that are individualized and inspired and engaged,"

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Wessling says the focus of her keynote is to challenge teachers to do better.

"Those little mistakes that we make in the classroom, they don't need to be big secrets, and instead, they can really be the catalysts for the best kinds of improvement and the most innovative strategies that we can come up with," she said.

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