STAR teachers to encourage more success in the classroom

Three local teachers were recently named STAR Discovery Educators by Discovery Education for their work in adding technology and curiosity to the classroom.

Discovery is a leading provider of high quality curriculum-based digital content, professional development and assessment resources relevant throughout all Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. Polo Ridge Elementary science facilitator Wendy White, McClintock Middle teacher David Taylor and Pineville Elementary teacher Juana Lugo were named STAR Discovery Educators, joining a list of active members in the Discovery Education Network, a global community of educators passionate about teaching with digital media and technology and sharing ideas and resources. White, Taylor and Lugo will all work to help encourage and inform teachers throughout the district, state and world about the benefits and highlights of Discovery Education to help improve engagement and achievement.

The district has had access to Discovery Education curriculum and materials for around three years, White said, but at least for Polo Ridge Elementary School, many teachers only used the video-based curriculum. But with new essential standards in the classroom this year, and various concepts moving to different grade levels, White said teachers need all the help they can get.

“I showed the staff how to find the new essential standards,” she said. “It’s so much more than videos – that’s the thing. There is so much more to it.”

White said teachers need to know that the Discovery Education curriculum has resources for almost any topic and teachers also have the capabilities to share and exchange lessons and ideas.

“There are millions of resources, like virtual labs and videos. You could teach the whole curriculum through Discovery Education. It’s an awesome resource for teachers and teachers are starting to share those things online,” White said. “I think teaching is all about sharing. It takes a lot of stress away from your planning.”

As STAR Discovery Educators, White, Taylor and Lugo will all have exclusive access to a wide range of free professional development activities. Other teachers can apply to be STAR Discovery Educators by submitting an example in which they shared best practice techniques for engaging students using digital media and technology.

White said she’s excited to continue to help other teachers in her school with the program by showing them tools and resources she’s discovered. And as a member of the district’s Science Alliance, a collaboration of teachers, she’s happy to help other schools and struggling teachers find the resources and techniques they need to see their students succeed.

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