[vimeo http://vimeo.com/31161260]Approximately 280 teachers from across the district have been collaborating with HISD’s Curriculum Department for the past several months to develop a high-powered, standards-based curriculum for all students in the Houston Independent School District.
They meet after school and on weekends, and educators involved in the Curriculum Writing Initiative report that their work has given them fresh insight into the necessity of focusing on standards.
“The curriculum-writing experience has opened my eyes to the importance of aligning our curriculum to the TEKS,” said Kolter Elementary School teacher Sharon Grimm. “This process will make me a better teacher and will ensure that all my students’ needs are met.”
Training provided by Texas curriculum experts Margaret Kilgo and Dr. Ervin Knezek has also been instrumental in building teachers’ understanding of the relationship between student achievement and standards-based instruction.
“I am very pleased that HISD values the expertise of its teachers in this project,” said Dr. Tim Daponte, a teacher at Reagan High School. “The children of HISD will benefit…since (the curriculum) has been written by teachers who have used these labs and methods in their own classrooms.”
When the Curriculum Writing Initiative is complete in June of this year, HISD will have a curriculum that aligns instructional models to the rigorous standards of the TEKS, CCRS, and ELPS, and ultimately contributes to student learning and achievement.
“Knowing that my work, along with that of others on my team, will be shared with other teachers is thrilling,” explained Sam Houston Math Science and Technology Center teacher Mariana Maldonado. “For me, one of the core foundations of teaching is sharing best practices and collaborating, and that is what being part of this team is all about.”