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Brace yourself students and parents. Common Core is here!

Valerie Cavazos

Brace yourself students and parents. Common Core is here!

By Valerie Cavazos. CREATED Jul 31, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN-TV) -- Students aren't the only one's with first day of school butterflies this year.
New state standards are taking over and it's changing the way your child learns.

Desert View math teacher, Tierra Fender, is getting her classroom ready and she's nervous now that the new Common Core standards are in place and teachers will be held accountable for student performance.

"It makes a lot of the teachers nervous," she said.

Understandably so since how she teaches math is dramatically shifting. "This is a learning curve that's straight up," said Pam Betten.

Betten should know. She's part of a national committee that helps prepare districts for the Common Core standards.

"It is going to be a rocky road. It won't be that smooth "I know what's going to happen in May and here's the gentle path that's going to take me there"," she said.

Cavazos asked Fender, "Could you have ever anticipated anything like this?"  "No, being a new teacher, Not really," she answered.
 
But Fender feels ready to take on the challenge because the district has been preparing teachers for more than a year and testing the waters in the classrooms.

"We've been working a lot over the summer on our lessons and going through the curriculum online," she said.

Amphi elementary school teacher, Bethany Papajohn, is already immersed in the Common Core standards.

Cavazos asked, "Are there still questions left?"
She answered, "Yes, Yes, there are definitely questions. But little by little they're getting answered. And I don't think anyone expects day one that we can just roll it out 100 percent with 100 percent quality."

In part -- because teaching resources haven't completely aligned with the new standards and teachers are having to look outside the box to create lesson plans.

Betten said that's expected. "It's going to be learning on the kids end, the teachers end, the parents end, and the administrators end."

Both Sunnyside and Amphitheatre Districts told KGUN9 that they've aligned all of their curriculum to the new state standards and they'll be ready for whatever lies ahead when students return to the classrooms.
 

Want to learn more about the Common Core Standards. Click here for the Arizona's Dept. of Education website on the topic.