We started the New Year out in El Paso, Texas. We brought of team of 5 trainers. This was our 8th visit to schools in the Socorro District. These visits have been during summer PD sessions, on Saturdays, on-site visits and workshops. The common thread is the enthusiasm these teachers have for meeting the Texas Essential Knowledge Skills (TEKS). As a state, Texas standards are definitely one of the more rigorous sets of standards in the country. The willingness of these educators to come in on their days off; the support of “Specials” staff coming in on those days to show solidarity says a lot about the dedication they have to their students.
One of the unique standards Texas has set is Financial Literacy which tends to get folded into math. We applaud Texas for adding these standards but in doing so we need to add time to the day to teach them. One of the reoccurring issues we hear from teachers across the country is that the new standards require discussion and thinking time. Many are trying to implement in a 60 minute math class and are finding it difficult. We need to try to expand math across the day and incorporate it into other subjects or have activities handy that do not require prep or set up time to do on the fly. Keep up the great work Socorro teachers!