Common Core Kills Love of Reading: Anonymous UT Student Teacher’s Story   5 comments

by an anonymous Utah student teacher
Last semester I worked in a first grade classroom as part of a class I was I was taking at Utah Valley University.  The teacher said she could do more teaching if she didn’t have to do so much Common Core testing, so she had me do the testing.  These children have 4 packets, 20-25 pages each, they have to get through during the year.   Part of this is a list of 100 words, 400 for the year, they need to know by sight.  As I was testing, one little boy he stopped and said, “I don’t like words.  I don’t like reading.  I don’t like books.”
My heart broke.
apple books
I went to our library here in town and checked out as many books as I could.  I went back to school every day and pulled him out of class to read just one book to him.   At first he was hesitant because he thought he was going to have to read to me. Eventually he relaxed and started enjoying.  He got so he would even turn the pages on occasion. We read one book, “The Red Book,” which has no words in it.  You make up the story yourself. When we finished I asked him if he’d rather read a book like this or would he rather have a book with the words already there.
He preferred a book with words in it.  This went on for several weeks.
book and kite
Then they had a reading competition in the classroom. On Friday whoever read the most books that week got to wear the pirate hat.  I came in one Friday and he was wearing the pirate hat.
I was thrilled.pirate
Since then it has occurred to me that I should talk to the principal.  How would he feel if someone came into his office and tested him regularly, and often, to see whether he is making any progress, getting everything done that he should do, etc.?  He would probably quit his job if he was under such testing regulations, and still they put these little kids through all this stress.
This teacher has eighteen students.  Within a week I could tell which six children were working above grade level, which 6 children were working at grade level, and which 6 children were working below grade level.  This was simply from my observations, not from any testing I was doing.  Six children took the assignments and whizzed through them.  Six children took the assignments and worked through them, but eventually they got there.  Six children got very little of the assignments done without help, and in some cases a lot of help.  Obviously, Common Core upsets me.  I’m sure there is some good there, and there are good intentions, but they are way off base.


5 responses to “Common Core Kills Love of Reading: Anonymous UT Student Teacher’s Story

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  1. Great article. I’m not surprised about being anonymous. Teachers have a cautious fear of speaking out against what may be occurring in their school. You are right about being able to tell the levels and needs right in the classroom. There is no need and would even say, value in these standardized tests. Control of teacher testing and curriculum must be returned to our schools, parents, and teachers.

  2. I was a teacher in AZ and saw this standardized testing beast morph into what it is today. It crushes children’s desire to read novels as they are drilled only on short stories and given quizzes. Great veteran teachers (myself included) are leaving the profession either because they spoke out and were quashed or out of disgust for what is happening to education. Young drone teachers replace them and buy into the scheme. Makes me so sad because the only ones who suffer are the children.

  3. If we know Common Core is hurting the children, they why are we still talking about all these poor children and not getting rid of Common Core? Letter after letter the children are suffering, when will we rid the schools of this horrible way to teach and learn?

  4. I have a teacher and a principal in my family and we do not talk about common core, even though my grandson is suffering with it. I truly believe people are afraid of the powers that be, or don’t want to make waves. This is wrong, we have to speak out and stand up for our children and stop common core. Many parents have no idea what common core is, but know their children have insane math and other things that are not helping their children. How do we make all parents aware of common core when the media seems to be so silent on the damage it is doing to our kids?

  5. The first step is to vote for school board members who oppose Common Core.

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