Dorian Shiver

Elementary Teacher | Albuquerque, NM

Dorian Shiver is a teacher at East San Jose Elementary School in Albuquerque, New Mexico and a member of the fourth-grade cadre in our Common Core in Albuquerque project.

Hear what Dorian has to say about the Cinderella lesson plans and the Common Core in his video interview and journal entries below.


Journal Entries

The "Cinderella" lesson plan

We decided on Cinderella as our anchor book, which never would have occurred to me when we began — it seems like such a played out story. But we realized that it's perfect for this lesson because there are so many versions of it from many different cultures. We gave ourselves homework, to each select a different version, find a copy, and make a list of all the vocabulary. I picked Yeh-Shen, and I really enjoyed taking the time to read the story several times, and pull the vocabulary.

However, I increasingly feel as though there are not enough hours in the day. I feel like this work is so important and we have such a crucial opportunity to help teachers and influence the way these standards are implemented — I don't want the quality of the work to be compromised because it's being done by teachers who are already stretched quite thin. I don't really know what the solution is though — I certainly wouldn't want to put my teaching on hold; being in the classroom with the kids is really essential to staying motivated in this line of work.

I'm also starting to try and look ahead, beyond the scope of simply lesson planning. I'm curious about what will come next and what the next phase of our work will look like. I am a revolutionary at heart, and I want us to start taking some kind of action…I have no idea what that should consist of or look like, but I do feel a little antsy. It's not overwhelming me though, and I do feel really good about how comfortable I am doing this work as merely a second-year teacher.

Working together

I learned that working with someone who has different expertise than you is really beneficial, even if they don't always agree with you, and in some cases, especially when they don't agree with you.