Richmond Co. teachers train for new set of standards; guidelines aim to unify classrooms

By: Trishna Begam Email
By: Trishna Begam Email

News 12 at This Morning / Monday, Nov. 21, 2011

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- This semester, teachers like Ms. Kimberly Moore are hitting the books, along with the students, in order to learn a new set of standards.

"I think the common core is going to be much better for us," said Ms. Moore, a reading and math interventionist at Garrett Elementary.

She says the new common core standards will set more specific guidelines for her students.

"The common core is extremely specific," she said. "It tell you the child needs to know this many nouns or this many verbs."

"Kids are going to have to learn not only to read narrative texts," said Stacey Mabray, director of the Richmond County school curriculum. "But also be versed in technical writing and technical reading, because it takes a different level of competency."

The standards, which kick in next year, will unify classrooms across the country from Georgia all the way to California.

This school year, teachers are on an aggressive timeline to study up on the content.

"We are doing a bevy of training on top of the state is doing via webinar and public television," Mabray explained.

Training for math and English teachers started in August.

"They are giving you the information and saying, 'OK, let's apply it. Let's do this problem, work on this activity.' So, you are having a chance to hear it, see it and do it," Moore said.

By the end of the training, nearly 3,000 teachers in Richmond County will be prepared for the new standards.

"More real world applications and the idea that we are trying to get kids college and/or career ready," Mabray said. "We are preparing them for jobs that we don't really know exist at this time."

For now, it's a juggling act for teachers trying to keep up with today's lesson plans and next year's standards.

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