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How the Common Core is Helping Educators

New online resource features interviews with NEA members who have found success with the new standards.

If you’re looking for some inspiration around the Common Core State Standards, you can find it from your colleagues.

NEA has partnered with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and Student Achievement Partners (SAP), a non-profit organization created by lead writers of the Common Core Standards, to create a series of video interviews with teachers who have been successful in implementing the Common Core Standards. The videos are featured on SAP’s Achieve the Core website—

Stories of Success from achievethecore on Vimeo.

The “Stories of Success” video series includes six teachers from different parts of the country, different subject matters, and different grade levels sharing how their use of the Common Core standards changed their teaching for the better and helped them win over parents and students.

Three of the teachers profiled are NEA members, Melissa Collins, a second-grade teacher from Tennessee, Tricia Ebner, a middle school gifted intervention specialist from Ohio, and Veeko Lucas, a high school physics teacher from Kentucky.

“One of the bigger ways I’ve changed what I’m doing is setting things up more as a discover kind of approach rather than ‘here’s what you need to know,’’ says Ebner in her video. “Putting [students] in a position of exploring, discovering, taking risks, and trying to make it so it’s safe risk-taking for them.” She cites a recent note she received from a former student that sums up her teaching approach, “[Ms. Ebner] ‘taught us how to think…How did she do that? But it’s something that I needed and I’ll never forget.’ And that’s what it’s all about.”

The website is also a great resource if you’re struggling to adapt your curriculum to the Common Core State Standards, or find yourself needing to explain the benefits of the new standards to parents. The site compiles a variety of Common Core resources from educators—for educators to help teachers better understand and implement changes to their lessons.

The free resources made available on are broken down by subject, English Language Arts and Mathematics, and then by grade level with K-12 all included. Depending on the subject, there are slight variations, but the content for both include: Common Core-aligned sample lesson plans, assessment questions for students, and curricular tools for educators to help incorporate the standards into their curriculum and how those standards are different from previous ones. Also included are professional development training modules to assist educators in mastering the requirements and helping them quickly and effectively understand Common Core.

Encouraging “states, districts, schools, and teachers to take our resources and make them their own,” SAP does not compete for federal, state or district contracts, and does not accept money from publishers.

Parents are also provided a number of resources, guides, and FAQs to better understand the new standards and how they affect their children’s classrooms and education.

Take a tour of for yourself and discover what might be helpful for you.

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