My name is Kristen Turner and I am a proud urban educator and have been for thirteen years. I am a middle level English Language Arts teacher, my teaching spans grades 5-8, grade 8 being my favorite.
According to state standards, I have been extremely successful in my career, with my students performing above national average on the PARCC Assessment. I am always asked, “what program do you use?” And I truthfully respond, I do not use nor believe in prescribed curriculums I have for they lack connectivity between the teacher and the students. Think about it: The curriculum remains the same, but our students change year after year. I could never understand those educators that use the same lesson plans for ten years and wonder why students are disengaged and performing below state standards. Which is why I vowed to the “Educational Gods” that my lessons and novels would change year to year and my approach and strategies taught would depend not on a curriculum, but solely on the needs of my students at that moment, and definitely not the ones ten years ago. Believe me, I am right in the thick of testing and the scores determining your effectiveness in the classroom.I could gripe and complain or make it work. I figure, if state assessments, created based on the standards, are the basis of my effectiveness; my teaching guide will be the standards, and my curriculum, the world at large. My purpose is to serve children through education. Our children are not prescribed, therefore their education should not be either.
The resources made available to you are materials used to promote engagement, learning, and mastery of learning standards, all the while, infusing test preparation that is embedded year round. And keeping in mind our goal as educators: to ensure students are ready with the skill set needed for the next grade level.