I am sweating bricks. (I know the correct word here isn’t sweating, but it’s the closest to how I’m feeling and it’s the most appropriate word I can use in a public forum.)
I am sweating bricks.
Why all the fuss, you ask? Well, we have a new K – 3 curriculum in the works for Alberta schools this fall. It is the worst curriculum I’ve ever encountered in my professional career because not only is it developmentally inappropriate, it is also politically oriented rather than based on accepted and/or innovative pedagogies.
It is the opposite of child centered.
Some parts are directly copied from the discredited Core Knowledge Foundation.
It teaches more US than Canadian history and is apologetic of social inequities and racism.
Many racialized, Indigenous and LGBTQ+ children will not see themselves in it for a variety of reasons, including the sheer enormity of facts we are expected to teach with little time for anything outside the curriculum. Right now, we have some leeway in terms of including other things not in the written curriculum.
So, I am sweating bricks.
The draft curriculum was only piloted by 1% of schools in the province; most school boards refused to pilot for a variety of reasons. Only 5% of teachers support it. There is a vocal parent movement against it. Our provincial professional association is actively opposed to it. Content area experts here have publicly written about all the reasons the draft curriculum, in all subject areas, needs to be scrapped. The few teachers involved in the curriculum review (and, yes, we were overdue for a new curriculum) were served with a gag order as a condition of their involvement in the review process. As soon as it was lifted several of the participating teachers spoke out against the review and the curriculum.
Need I say more?
Maybe that I’m sweating bricks?
I am sweating bricks because I find it morally and ethically reprehensible that I am expected to teach a curriculum that is not only sub-par, but is also insulting and potentially damaging to teachers and children.
I keep hoping that the ministry will come to its senses and #DitchtheDraft, but that is not likely to happen.
As I write this post, the realization that I will have to teach this in September is increasing my anxiety.
So, I am sweating bricks.
But I won’t give up. I will figure out a way to protect my grade 3 students from this horrible curriculum come September.
Any and all ideas for how to do this are welcome, so I can stop sweating bricks.
Cross posted to the Two Writing Teachers Tuesday Slice of Life Tuesday Challenge.