I have used this space in the past to rail against the evils of scripted curricula. I’ve vented my frustration at being forced to follow a pacing guide set by individuals who don’t even work in a classroom. I have expressed my dismay at the lack of respect that administrators show for teachers when they tell them what to teach, when to teach it, and how to teach it. I have said again and again that while some novice teachers could benefit from this level of structure, it was inappropriate and unprofessional to force it upon more experienced teachers.
Well, I now find myself in the somewhat humbling situation of having the wind sucked out of my angry sails by my local school district. As part of their continuing efforts to provide extensive online resources to teachers all over our large district, a group of district administrators and teachers has created something truly wonderful. They have rolled out a new web-based pacing guide that combines the best parts of organized instruction with the flexibility deserved by professional educators.
The new site includes detailed outlines of lesson ideas, standards correlations, and links to websites, video clips, and other resources. It’s simple to find, easy to navigate, and very easy to pull out pieces that are helpful without necessarily following every step. In a word, it is nearly everything I would ask for in a teacher resource website.
And best of all…it’s not required that any teacher in the district use this tool. Somebody must be listening to me.