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Teacher Feature

  • Kelly Waller

    Kelly Waller

    Meet Kelly Waller, a 6th grade ELA and journalism teacher in Florida.  Kelly participated on the Writing Collaborative for the MET VIVA Idea ExchangeTM and was instrumental in writing the VIVA MET:  Reflections from the Classroom Measures of Effective Teaching Idea Exchange Report in 2013. Kelly began her teaching career eleven years ago as a full-time substitute Read More »

What Teachers Are Saying

The VIVA opportunity was an amazing journey. That door opening allowed me to see across the country and into other classrooms. We sometimes teach in a bubble, where you are your own country, and being able to look into other classrooms (FL, TX, etc)…that experience has been profound. — Melony Smith-Wellington, Teacher, MET: Reflections from the Classroom

Teacher Blog Posts


How to Create Meaningful Assessments that Actually Inform Teacher Practice

By Elizabeth Tarbutton Teacher evaluation is a hot topic in education these days, but has anyone stopped to ask what the purpose of it all is? I think most evaluators would say that the purpose is to grow better educators to create meaningful change in schools.  In order to affect these changes, evaluators collect a […]


Flip the Script

By Lesley Hagelgans Now is the time to flip the script on teacher evaluations. Teachers can no longer afford to be passive in the receipt of their evaluations – both literally and figuratively. The livelihood of 3.1 million people – teachers – will be affected if they don’t become active in this process. More importantly, […]


Parents Beware! Of Unnecessary, Invalid and Unreliable Test Scores

By Judy Smizik Are all of the tests our children taking at school necessary? Are the results valid and reliable? Should our kindergartners be assessed on reading skills? Our tests today reflect the Common Core State Standards, but are the standards developmentally appropriate? These are questions parents need to ponder when reviewing their children’s test […]

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Current Events & Policy

VIVA Teacher Speaks Out on Chicago Teachers Union’s Common Core Vote

Freeda Pirillis, a first grade teacher in Chicago Public Schools, was a member of the very first VIVA Idea Exchange, Voices from the Classroom. For the last three years, she has been working with the Chicago Teachers Union to develop Common Core curricula. As she describes in this story on Chicago Public Radio, she was […]

Idea Exchange Updates



Actions Speak Louder

By Jennifer Reinhardt After reading Rick Hess’ recent blog post “10 School Reform Phrases That Should Trigger Your BS Detector,” I’ve been thinking a lot about authenticity versus jargon and what exactly we mean when we say “teacher leadership” or “teacher voice” within our own organization. How do we distinguish ourselves from the “sugarplum visions fueled […]

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