I really don’t know the answer. In the past, I have acted the maverick, doing what I thought best. I acted in harmony with what I understood the spirit of the standards to be but frequently not in harmony with the letter. Obviously, I didn’t do that in areas of regulatory or legal constraint. But in areas where I wasn’t actually bound to follow a particular path, I generally made my own way to the goal. One of my teaching heroes is Rafe Esquith of Hobart Shakespeareans fame. He too is a maverick, to the point where I frequently wince on his behalf reading of his interactions with other teachers, administrators and the curriculum. As I recall, he teaches the curriculum as quickly as he can and spends the balance of his time on what he wants to do. Of course, he starts school an hour early and keeps class open until late in the afternoon so he creates more time in which to do more.
I’m pretty clear that I don’t want to carry the weight of being such a maverick as I go forward. On the other hand, i didn’t sign up for this career to be a factory worker on the educational assembly line. I think for me, the challenge is finding something other than zero or ten on the spectrum. I think it is possible to respect the curriculum and even expect that it contains wisdom that is invisible me, but at the same time innovate and create around it’s core (and around its weaker points).