Does the Common Core demoralize teachers?

It’s a serious question, with serious implications. It’s a question that arises for me all too often when I see tired faces, confused looks, or disheartened shoulders, says Sarah Brown Wessling, 2010 teacher of the year. It’s a question that I feel a responsibility to wrestle with; after all, I’ve spent the last few years working to make sense of the Core, to put it in language that resonates with others, to make it accessible in ways that teachers won’t feel like they’re losing the integrity of their classrooms.  Yet, there’s a commentary beneath the looks of educators who feel like this is just “one more thing” that “takes me away from my students…”

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Teacher of the Year: Education ‘must be learner-centered’

President Obama honors the 2010 National Teacher of the Year, Sarah Brown Wessling.
President Obama honors the 2010 National Teacher of the Year, Sarah Brown Wessling.

Facebook and digital video are among the many technology-based tools that Sarah Brown Wessling uses to engage her students—but just as important as that, it was her passion for helping every child succeed and her belief that instruction should be “learner-centered” that led to her selection as the 2010 National Teacher of the Year.

Wessling, a high school English teacher from Iowa, was recognized by President Barack Obama as the nation’s top teacher in an April 29 ceremony in the White House Rose Garden.

“Whether teaching basic writing to at-risk freshmen, or literary theory to Advanced Placement seniors, Sarah writes: ‘I see a story in every learner, unique and yearning to be read.’ That’s why she creates individualized podcasts for each student with extensive feedback on their papers, prompting one parent to report that his own writing had improved just by listening to Sarah’s comments to his daughter,” the president said.…Read More