Award-Winning Teachers Share Thoughts on Common Core

The National Network of State Teachers of the Year has created a series of videos interviewing award-winning teachers about their approaches in the classroom and their thoughts on the Common Core State Standards.

The videos show each teacher’s unique methods and philosophies about learning, and how they personally use the Common Core State Standards to guide their teaching.

Their answers might surprise you…

In this video, 2015 Utah Teacher of the Year, Mohsen Ghaffari, shares how the rigor of the Common Core Math Standards helps prepare students to be critical and creative thinkers.

Washington, D.C., State Teacher of the Year in 2014, Bill Day, says the Common Core State Standards give his students the tools they need to succeed. “Math is about encountering a problem and thinking about it and generating ideas. I want [students] to be the source – not me.”

Sean McComb, National Teacher of the Year, 2014, explains how he uses the Common Core ELA Standards to teach his students the basics of writing through real world investigations. Students explain that they do traditional ELA classes but they also “get to do things that apply to real world today,” including writing “interviews, creative writing, blogs.” “I want to challenge students to take them from wherever they are… to develop skills so they can be ready for college, careers, or whatever comes next,” says McComb.

In this video, 2010 Delaware Teacher of the Year, Mary Pinkston and her students explain how following the Common Core Math Standards as a guide helps them build upon past knowledge and know they are going to be prepared for success in the future.

Josh Parker, Maryland State Teacher of the Year, 2012, explains how he uses the Common Core State Standards to teach his students how to back up their claims with cited evidence. He says that, for teachers, Common Core State Standards “empower us, not constrict us.”