The National Education Association (NEA) and BetterLesson launch a new web site today, cc.betterlesson.com/mtp. The site, where teachers share what works in the classroom, features more than 3,000 classroom-ready lessons that are easily accessible and can be integrated into any curriculum. This new BetterLesson product was built entirely for the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and features the lessons of 130+ Master Teachers (MTs), who represent every K-12 grade level for math and English Language Arts & Literacy. This is one of several long-term partnerships NEA has pursued to support its members’ professional development and leadership in the teaching practice; members have been recruited around the country to participate and develop comprehensive materials along with these partner organizations.
“The new Common Core State Standards are a transformation for the students in our nation’s public school system and we owe it to them to provide teachers with the time, tools and resources to get it right,” said National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel. “The best ideas for the classroom come from classroom teachers, and our new site will allow educators to share lessons to help ensure all students have the skills they need to succeed.”
“When we teamed up with National Education Association last summer on The Master Teacher Project we knew there would be powerful results,” said BetterLesson’s Alex Grodd, CEO & co-founder. “We are so excited to offer the most comprehensive body of knowledge around Common Core teaching.”
Before the CCSS were introduced, 62 percent of teachers in the U.S. reported feeling unprepared for daily work in the classroom, according to the “Educating School Teachers” report. BetterLesson aims to help those teachers become more prepared by providing 5 to 10 lessons for every single common core standard. By the fall of 2015, BetterLesson will have more than 16,000 Master Teacher lessons live. According to a NEA poll from this past September, more than 75 percent of NEA members supported the standards wholeheartedly or with some reservations. Unfortunately, while two-thirds of members indicated they had participated in trainings around CCSS, just 26 percent said the trainings were helpful.
“The power of educators’ expertise is important and educators are passionate about promoting student success,” said Van Roekel. “Our partnership with BetterLesson allows us to tap into the passion, creativity, and power of those who spend their lives in the nation’s classrooms. Educators will be able to customize the shared lessons to their students’ individual needs and provide high quality instruction for all students, regardless of their zip code.”
Every week, Master Teachers will be sharing new lessons, which other educators can use immediately. By the end of the project, each Master Teacher will have shared a full year’s worth of lessons (120 or more!) on the cc.betterlesson.com/mtp site. In these lessons, Master Teachers will share:
• The “how” and the “why” of their effective practice, narrating their enactment of each section of a lesson;
• Videos of particular instructional strategies;
• Thoughts on their implementation of CCSS;
• Resources they’ve tried and the results; and
• Examples of student work.
"The deep knowledge and resources provided by the Master Teachers exceed all of our expectations,” continued Alex Grodd, BetterLesson CEO. “We are looking forward to adding more features and capabilities to the site – leveraging usage metrics and teacher feedback to make it the most valuable resource for k-12 educators.”
Funded in part by NEA and in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the goal of The Master Teacher Project is to create exemplary, CCSS-aligned, year-long, teacher-designed courses, presented in a palatable, accessible way to all teachers, free of charge.
NEA is taking the lead within the education profession through Better Lesson, the NEA Master Teacher Project and a series of initiatives that put educators in positions of leadership within their practice. Earlier this month NEA, the Center for Teaching Quality and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards announced the national Teacher Leadership Initiative (TLI), a joint endeavor to develop a new generation of leaders within the teaching profession. NEA has also partnered with Teach Plus to launch a selective fellowship that will empower solutions-oriented teachers, most of whom are in the first 10 years of their careers, to advise union leadership on teacher engagement and retention. As the education leader, NEA is aiming to empower teachers to lead, shape education policy, and prepare the next generation of teacher leaders.
About Better Lesson
BetterLesson is an edtech startup dedicated to preparing and supporting effective teachers. It is building the first living, breathing body of knowledge around effective instruction. For too long, effective teaching practices have been locked up in the filing cabinets, flash drives, and brains of innovative teachers across the country. Through its Master Teacher Projects, Better Lesson recruits, selects, and pays the highest performing teachers in the country to share the full suite of their effective practice: both the "how" (instructional strategies, techniques, classroom management) and the "what" (full curriculum including comprehensive day-to-day lessons). To date, the partnerships with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and NEA have allowed Better Lesson to cover grades K-12 math and ELA, giving us complete coverage of the Common Core. All of the Master Teacher content will be shared with and curated by our rapidly growing community of more than 350,000 teachers.
The National Education Association (www.nea.org) is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing