Standards for student learning have been developed in subject areas under the direction of the NADOE. In developing these standards, resources such as the compendiums of current state/provincial standards and subject-area standards developed by professional organizations have been referenced.
Standards identify what a student should know and be able to do upon completing a course. Standards are to be used by the teacher in planning, implementing, and
assessing the instructional program. It is the principal’s responsibility to:
Carla Thrower | Principal, Takoma Academy
When teachers are prepared for instruction by knowing what to teach and how to teach it, it becomes a win-win for our students. Referencing the Handbook for Principals of SDA Schools, standards for student learning have developed in subject areas under the direction of the NADOE. These standards were established with a variety of resources including but not limited to state/provincial standards and subject-area standards that have been developed/designed by professional educational organizations and adequately referenced.
What do the Standards identify?
Standards identify what a student should know and be able to do upon completing a course.
How are Standards to be used?
Standards are to be used by the teacher in planning, implementing, and assessing the instructional program.
What is the responsibility of the principal?
What is the responsibility of the teacher?
Teachers across the NAD have recognized the need to access and implement standards in their instruction, and this is evident in lessons observed that are well provisioned and aligned. Lessons that are taught to standard provide students with an opportunity for continued growth and success over time.
Following are thoughts from teachers in reference to curriculum standards in 2017…
Teaching to standards has benefited my students in that I am more focused and balanced in my teaching. I can look at my grade book and realize that I need to work more on standard USH 6.1, for instance.
Standards are very important to the curriculum. They provide a base line in each subject of the important information. In that way, we can make sure that all students are exposed to the rudiments of the subject.
~History/Social Studies Teacher
I think it is a little different for Religion. But I think it also helps to make sure you cover all areas. That is what I like about it.
My thoughts have changed some. I did not agree teaching to the standards when it was first presented, but that may have been due to how it was presented. In Algebra, several standards are usually present in one given topic. A benefit of having the standards in instruction and assessment is that I have been able to focus on the specific needs of the student.
They are important if they are used correctly and if students are getting adequate feedback on their attempts at mastery. As teachers, I think this is where we need to figure out better ways to communicate feedback to our students regularly.
~Fine Arts Teacher
I will be the first to tell you that there is no magic wand that we educators can wave to create the perfect learning experience. It takes multiple tools to build the type of perfection our students deserve.
One such tool is the utilization of curriculum standards, which ensure a certain quality of education is met. Educators who use standards, whether Common Core, International Standards for Technology in Education (ISTE), Adventist Education Standards (AES), or state standards, better position themselves to lead equitable – and ultimately successful – classrooms.
When used in lesson and instruction planning, standards help guide educators in knowing the appropriate content knowledge for their students as well as influencing how to best disseminate that knowledge (pedagogy).
Think of your classroom as a vehicle. Wouldn’t you rather invest in owning a vehicle whose builder set and reached standards that result in top-quality products? Or would you accept that a vehicle is at its best even though standards were not used/met? Would a vehicle really be its best if it were missing important components? I wouldn’t take that chance with my life and the lives of those riding with me.
In the same way, why take a chance on not creating the successful environment our students both need and deserve? Use standards to help ensure you are the best educator possible. You deserve that much and so do your students.
Chris Simmons | Vice-Principal,
Olney Adventist Preparatory School
Principal, Takoma Academy
Berit von Pohle, Editor
Pacific Union Conference, Director of Education
Ed Boyatt, Editorial Advisor
MISSION: STRENGTHENING ADVENTIST EDUCATION ONE LEADER AT A TIME