Teach Like an Author

Feeling overwhelmed by the rigorous standards of Common Core? Wondering how the heck you are ever going to get to it all? If you are like most teachers, you probably answered yes. I know I get a little panicky at the beginning of the year knowing the scope and sequence of the months to come. I mean just for Trimester One in math we are required to teach adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing whole numbers and decimals, with the goal of mastery for every student.

In addition to being a teacher, I’m also an author. And I approach both disciplines the same way. For my novels, it’s one word, one sentence, one page at a time. If I thought of writing all 70 chapters at once, I’d be overwhelmed. Not that I don’t think of the entire story, I do, but I still attack it a little at a time.

Teaching is similar. Know the standards, where you are going, the arc of you classroom’s story. But don’t let the volume of what is required, hamper your progress. You can’t teach it all at once. It’s impossible.


Instead, look at each lesson as if it were a sentence of your epic novel. You want those words to sing, to rise up and fill the air with joy and wonder. Use your creative talents to make your school year that novel you always wanted to write.

And it just might be epic.