Over the past five years, Kathy Thiebes has had what we educators call a “heavy teaching load.” Six classes per day. Some classes with more than 35 students. Approximately 200 students daily.
A high school social studies teacher in the Centennial School District in Oregon, Kathy is also an “early adopter” of the Common Core State Standards. She is in her third year of implementing the CCSS—making her among the first group of teachers in her district (and potentially across the country) to pick up the CCSS and try them out.
There is no doubt that implementing the CCSS for 200 or so students in her economics, government and AP history courses has been a big lift. However, in Kathy’s words, “now that I’m in my third year [of implementing the CCSS], I’ve put in place many routines that have made teaching reading and writing much easier. I always required my students to read and write a lot but the CCSS made me realize that I wasn’t teaching them how to read and write. I was assigning literacy, not teaching it. I had to wrap my head around what the CCSS meant for my classroom and develop the systems to effectively teach reading and writing.”