Do you plan lessons aligned to national standards?'s Teacher Poll of the Week
Do you plan lessons aligned to national standards?

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A strong majority of teachers report that they plan lessons to align with national standards. Knowing that all students are receiving lessons aimed at similar goals is reassuring. Students across the country, no matter whether they are located in urban or rural areas, have an equal opportunity for education.

National standards are set up to ensure that all students receive the education they need to succeed. There are obviously opportunities to explore regional diversities and celebrate differences in language and culture. However, knowing that all students are learning the same basics lessons means that no one region has an advantage over another. Anything beyond these basics are icing on the cake. Firsthand experience of local industries or cultural celebrations adds a well-rounded aspect to education that benefits students.

In some areas teaching the standard lesson plan isn't in the student's best interest, at least without some modifications. Aboriginal students, for example, may benefit from modifications to lesson plans that incorporate their culture. Traditionally, these students feel a disconnect between their experiences and history and those of other students so modifying lessons to make them feel included will boost their learning potential. Perhaps reasons like this account for the teachers who reported that they didn't align their lesson with national standards.

The other thing to remember is that when there are national standards then all students entering post-secondary education have the same background. Can you imagine entering a western college when you come from back east only to find that you don't know what's going on? It would be akin to studying in a foreign country. Standardized teaching gives our students the opportunity to study anywhere in the country and feel confident in their ability to fit in.

However teachers plan their lessons you can be sure that they have the best interests of the students in mind. Teachers as a whole have proven time and again that student welfare is at the forefront of almost everything they do. If alternate lesson plans are what particular students or regions require it's certain teachers will address these concerns and modify their lesson plans accordingly.