The Essence of Excellence

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Every day, teachers work to motivate students, increase achievement and create an environment where students take ownership of their learning. As Fellows, we have been fortunate to speak with teachers across the country, and concerns around capturing student growth through standardized testing continue to persist across our schools and communities. Teachers’ concerns run a wide gamut, ranging from the need for assessment that engages multiple intelligences to frustration around the stress that high-stakes testing can create for many students.

In light of ongoing conversations about linking test scores to teacher evaluation, we want to hear more about how teachers measure their own effectiveness. We are thinking a lot about how to best reflect on and learn from our practice, so that we as teachers can actively shape current discussions about what true excellence looks like in the classroom.

In the first few weeks of school, how do you know if you are successful in beginning to impact student learning? Please share with us a personal glimpse of your excellence in the classroom from the start of the school year!

For opportunities to help identify and solve other challenges related to teaching and learning in the classroom, check out the new Challenge to Innovate (C2i) initiative at

With great hope for the future of education,

Antero, Edit, Jemal, Jeff, Katie, Laurie, Leah, Linda, Lisa, Nick, Pam, Patrick, Tracey, Stephanie and Steve
Teaching Ambassador Fellows