Honoring Classroom Excellence: Extraordinary Educators

Every school or organization committed to improvement should have a Professional Learning Community (PLC). Whether formal or informal, they are a means of regularly bringing a group of educators together to share best practices and expertise and collaborate to improve teaching and learning. When given the opportunity to connect and form a network, educators can extend their own learning and support the learning and growth of other educators and ultimately the students they serve.

To further expand on its support of teachers and mission to “make classrooms better places,” Curriculum Associates recently announced the formation of a new, nationwide PLC in the form of its Extraordinary Educators Program.

Recognizing Extraordinary Educators

The Extraordinary Educators program is a celebration of teachers, led by a company that was itself founded by educators over 50 years ago. What qualities did Curriculum Associates look for in curating this inaugural class? The company sought to honor teachers who embrace innovative classroom and engagement practices and support high standards and student achievement.

Thirty-one educators from classrooms across the nation have been selected as Extraordinary Educators. The honorees range in specialties from elementary math and English teachers to high ability and specialized academic instructors, to interventionists and coordinators. All have taught for at least two years and have experience using Curriculum Associates’ signature i-Ready® and/or Ready® products in their classrooms.

This summer, Curriculum Associates will host its first annual three-day Leadership Summit with the cohort of Extraordinary Educators. The connections that form at the Extraordinary Educators Leadership Summit next summer will set the foundation for transformative thinking and exchange of ideas that will continue for years to come.

In addition to the Summit, this national peer network will provide professional development to help honorees continue their growth as strong leaders and include invitations to local Curriculum Associates events and speaking opportunities.

Hear from Extraordinary Voices…

We were thrilled to have the opportunity to meet a few of these Extraordinary Educators, who shared with us the things they look forward to getting from the program. Here’s what they had to say…

Kimberly Robinson of Literacy Leadership Technology Academy of Hillsborough County Public Schools in Tampa, FL sees involvement in the program as a way to become more embedded and active in the national education conversation. Robinson shares, “I am passionate about equipping the next generation with mindful tools, resources, and fun experiences that leave an imprint on their educational journey forever. I will dedicate my expertise to empower other teachers through the Extraordinary Educators program.”

Christi Moore, an Interventionist at Harold E. Winkler Middle School in Concord, North Carolina, says she’s excited to share her knowledge of what works for her and her students. To her, being part of Extraordinary Educators “means that my students have an additional platform to share their successes.”

Christi looks forward to learning from others in the program and states, “I’m excited at the opportunity to connect with and learn from other teachers who have their students’ best interests at heart.”

The Extraordinary Educator team recently named Cari Stanley of Etiwanda, California as the inaugural Inspire Award recipient as part of the program launch. Cari was selected as an exemplar of the strong bonds with school-based visionaries who take i-Ready to its highest heights in their work.

Cari describes the initiatives she is involved in as the Special Education Program Specialist for her district. She explains, “I have been continuing the work in a different capacity—ensuring we have specialized programs for our students. Since I have a Dyslexia certification and background in literacy, my work now is around designing literacy programs for students with different disabilities.. with vastly different literacy needs. Students with exceptionalities (i.e. a student who has a diagnosis of Dyslexia or Autism) have vastly different literacy needs… and I am excited to see our progress when we have the right plan for each individual.”

Since our district implemented the iReady diagnostic our teachers feel empowered to adequately target instruction due to frequent reporting with data that align with students’ individual needs. Therefore, we have seen a significant improvement in our students‘ academic performance and self-efficacy.

Cari acknowledges, “We could not do the work that we are doing here without the use of the i-Ready Diagnostic. Our teachers feel empowered to adequately target instruction due to frequent reporting with data that aligns with every student’s individual needs. Therefore we have seen a significant improvement in academic performance and self-efficacy.”

What Comes Next

What an inspiring group! We look forward to following these Extraordinary Educators as they continue to grow together and share their expertise beyond their cohort. We have no doubt their impact will be felt not only by the students they support but also by educators nationwide who will as they take on new leadership roles and blended learning programs and classroom tools.

To learn more about Extraordinary Educators, follow their journey, and nominate a deserving teacher for next year’s class, please visit CurriculumAssociates.com/ExtraordinaryEducators.

About Curriculum Associates

Curriculum Associates, a data-driven curriculum and assessment company, focuses on K–12 education, primarily math and reading. Founded in 1969, the company has one driving purpose: to make classrooms better places for teachers and students. Its innovative and constantly improving learning programs empower teachers and administrators with the flexible resources necessary for teaching diverse student populations and fostering learning for all students.

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This post includes mentions of a Getting Smart partner. For a full list of partners, affiliate organizations and all other disclosures please see our Partner page.

Jessica Slusser

Jessica is the Senior Director of Impact at Getting Smart. She leads business development and growth of advocacy campaigns, advisory services, product development, marketing, and Getting Smart's blog. As part of her role, Jessica also oversees team events, conferences, and speaking engagements.

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