PBC teachers returning to old teaching methods

By Summer Knowles - email
Posted by Rachel Leigh - email

WELLINGTON, FL (WFLX) - After a surprise change, Palm Beach County principals can now decide to go forward or scrap the controversial curriculum changes.

Caroly Bryant is a reading teacher at Wellington Community Elementary and has been a teacher for more than 20 years. In that 20 something years, she's developed and fine-tuned a teaching style that works for her and her students. It's a style, she says, the school district's academic plan completely disregarded. "I came in and said, 'Oh my God, how do I teach? What do I do?' I didn't know even how to get a grip on things to present to my students."

But now that assessment tests every three weeks are off the table, the verbatim teaching scripts are gone, and Bryant's back in the swing of things.

In class Monday, Bryant had her students skim through their lesson on their own and answer preliminary questions about it before reading it as a class. Then, they went back over the original questions and talked about the different conclusions they were able to draw.

Bryant says this really helps students better understand the content of what they read; something, she says, she couldn't do under the school districts old academic plan. "With frameworks, I didn't have time for that. I had 90 minutes, and then had to move on. What happened to the students who didn't get it the first time? They were just lost.

"Today, the difference is enthusiasm. Teachers are happier, feeling less restricted, feeling more empowered."

Now that principals are determining the curriculum again, teachers are being asked to give specific feedback. Based on their suggestions, principals say, they will determine what part of the district's academic plan they should keep and what they should dump.