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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

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Test, Test, Test. Why Can’t I Just Teach?

by Joy Peters Test, test, test. All I ever do is test. When do I have time to teach? Why are these students taking all these tests when the results never change? What are the results, you ask? The results always say that ESOL students in the beginning levels are at the bottom of the […]

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Teacher autonomy is the secret to student success

By Amanda Koonlaba During my work with VIVA on the Accountability 360 Idea Exchange–and with the Writing Collaborative for “Changing the Story: Transformation towards Fair Accountability and Responsibility in Public Education”–I kept coming back to the theme of how essential it is for teachers to be a part of all decision-making processes. This theme oozed […]

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The 5 Attributes of a Teacher Leader

By Josh Agpalza This past weekend I had the privilege of attending the Teach to Lead Conference in Denver with other teachers and educators from around the nation. As I was listening to stories and presentations of teacher leaders making a difference, I realized they all had 5 things in common. Teacher leaders are innately […]

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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



Educators Should Take the Lead on Common Core

By Paul Toner In case you hadn’t noticed, we’re in the middle of a huge paradigm shift in education. Over the past five years, the widespread adoption of the Common Core State Standards or some state variation of them has impacted every classroom in America–even in the handful of states that haven’t yet embraced them. […]

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