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Blog Posts

  • Teachers Are #ReadyForSuccess

    Teachers Are #ReadyForSuccess

    by Paul Toner, President of the VIVA Project If we want to cultivate teacher leaders in the United States, we have to compensate them fairly for going the extra mile and evaluate them like the read more »

Teacher Blog Posts


Schools Should Be More Like Trader Joe’s

Prior to becoming a special education teacher in the Bronx through NYC Teaching Fellows, I was a novitiate store manager at a Trader Joe’s in Queens. I was only there 10 months before I moved on to the classroom, but I learned a lot about warm service to others, hard work, and leadership by example that I continue to apply in my work each day with children and their families.

Wade Sutton

Professional Development: Finding Excellence Through Failure

by Wade Sutton Protect my ability to fail and you give me the opportunity for excellence. Without failure we cannot improve. Unfortunately, the opposite sentiment currently defines policy surrounding the professional development of educators. My solution is simple: do not guarantee success. Make us earn it. The first time I tried to walk, I fell. […]

Jim Szewc

Anticipating the First Day of School

by Jim Szewc As the end of August and the beginning of September approaches, and the joys and adventures of another summertime begin to fade, familiar thoughts and pleasant memories rush to the forefront of my mind. In my earliest recollection of this time, as a toothless six-year-old on the eve of 1st grade, I […]

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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



Can We Interest You in Teacher Leadership?…

By Paul Toner, President of The VIVA Project Last weekend in The New York Times, Mokoto Rich wrote that “school districts have gone from handing out pink slips to scrambling to hire teachers,” thanks to an improving US economy. In an op-ed to the Times three days later, Can We Interest You in Teaching?, Frank […]

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