Bay County teachers are switching roles this summer and learning a new way of teaching. Bay District Schools will begin implementing the new Common Core Standards this school year.
"We've been learning about what the state expects of us in the implementation process of the Common Core Standards," said first grade teacher Pam Cuimuyog.
Cuimuyog is one of more than a thousand teachers learning a new way of instructing. The State of Florida is joining more than 40 other states and implementing the new standards.
"It's not just a new set of labels to put on lesson plans, it really is a different way of teaching that empowers the student to learn," said Lisa Churchwell, the district's staff development coordinator.
The change is designed to help better prepare students for today's workforce needs. As for what students will notice in the classroom, the reading materials will be more rigorous.
"Students need access to higher level texts in order to learn how to decipher that and comprehend that because in the real world, they're going to be using more difficult levels of text," said Churchwell.
The classroom culture is also changing, shifting to more group work instead of lectures.
"Students shouldn't be sitting in rows. They should be in teams and groups, working together, helping one another," said Churchwell.
Teachers will begin implementing Common Core Standards this school year with full implementation in 2014-2015. Students will take FCAT 2.0 one more time in the spring, and the state will use a new assessment test in two years, in 2015.