Your curriculum is your school’s brand. The way you house, use and put resources into it, speaks volumes about your school to teachers and parents. If you would describe your curriculum as “dry”, “simple” or “out of date”, it’s time to do something about it, and the fix is easier than you think.
A few questions to ask yourself:
1. How does the curriculum support new teachers?
Walking into your school, what are new teachers given that lets them know what to teach, and what kinds of pedagogy or technology are part of the school culture? If you are handing teachers a textbook, or a list of topics/skills to cover, are those teachers prepared? Are they familiar with the objectives and what experiences from previous years they are building upon with students?
2. How well do students understand the curriculum?
Learners should understand what they’re working toward and how they’re being assessed at all times. Does your curriculum clearly lay out for teachers and students what the precise learning objectives are for each unit? Are there exemplars from previous students to get them excited about the new skills and challenges they’re moving toward? Do they have choice and options to explore in your curriculum?
3. How much are parents informed about what is being taught?
Parents want to know how their children are being educated. Topic and skills lists along with the warm smiles of your staff are great, but how else can you help parents understand why your school is special? A clearly defined curriculum that demonstrates diversity of instruction and examples of excellence is a powerful resource for teachers, kids, and parents.
Functionally, curriculum is the map for teachers, so that you don’t have gaps in student learning. However, it can be so much more. It should be a collaborative workspace for teachers to coordinate and demonstrate what makes your school special.
Learn how to make great curriculum! Watch Chalk.com Live Webinar
- How to use the Understanding by Design curriculum map template
- Setting up teachers for success with new curriculum initiatives
- Assess your curriculum to find out where to improve