When establishing any organization, one essential step is to make sure you’re offering a service that people actually want and need. At EWL, what began as one person’s desire to combat fake news and promote critical thinking with a few ready-made lesson plans has grown into a dynamic platform for teachers.
During its first year, EWL has focused on developing and formalizing ResourceHQ, a thoroughly vetted and consistently updated treasure trove to mine when you’re seeking inspiration for a lesson but finding that outdated textbooks and decades-old activities fall short.
Currently, EWL is building the framework for an interactive community of educators, while also working diligently on EducatorHQ, a dynamic unit-planning tool, formerly known as LessonHQ. Although still in development, EducatorHQ is an excellent example of a system built to match the actual needs of the people who will use it. Recently granted official 501(c)3 status, EWL now accepts tax deductible donations that will help make EducatorHQ a reality.
For a deeper understanding of who EducatorHQ will serve and how, EWL’s co-founder Rhi Alyxander interviewed teachers throughout the USA and identified a few common narratives connected to 5 teacher types. Read on to see if any of these reflect your own experiences as an educator.
When schools are forced to shut down after students test positive for COVID-19, the coronavirus teacher must find web-based resources for virtual learning. Later, as vaccination rates increase and schools return to in-person classes, students are still expected to utilize online classrooms in order to maximize all their time and “catch up” on skills perceived as being lost during the COVID era. This means more work for the coronavirus teacher.
Teach for America, or other FastTrack Program, Teacher
After a few weeks of training, the FastTrack teacher is placed in a classroom at a Title 1 public school where the classroom needs a deep cleaning, the class library is a pile of unsorted donation boxes, there are no school supplies, and 75 percent of the budget has been spent on textbooks that last year’s testing indicates the majority of her students will not be able to read.
My-School Board-Spent-All-My-Money-on-a-Textbook-with-Revisionist-History Teacher
Many educators dream of bringing a true, global account of history to America’s school children. However, the resources provided by systems throughout the country frequently offer a revisionist and Westernized worldview. While supplementing inaccurate textbooks with relevant primary and secondary sources is possible, it’s rarely practical and can induce serious burnout, which is already on the rise.
Some systems invest in resources and programs that do nothing to meet the actual needs of teachers and students. “What do I do if a kid jumps on his desk and starts screaming?” is a startlingly familiar question, and usual answers to re-direct, call the counselor, or “make the student respect you” fall flat in the face of overburdened systems where counselors are frequently unavailable to address behavioral issues and students care more about screaming than fractions.
Some teachers have spent decades successfully building a curriculum from a tangled web of physical texts, handwritten and typed lesson plans, and supplemental online resources. However, these seasoned teachers can be at a loss for how to translate what they know works into streamlined, digitally-friendly, standards-aligned plans that they can submit to administration when requested.
How Can EducatorHQ Help Each Teacher Type?
Easily accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, EducatorHQ is a unit planning tool that allows you to customize your curriculum to meet your students' needs. With EducatorHQ, teachers can easily:
Make a profile, which includes a calendar and access to our catalogue of customizable curricular resources
Search EWL's catalogue of customizable activities by Common Core State Standards and save them to the calendar
Easily replace or supplement worksheets and textbooks with YouTube videos and project-based lessons accessible to multiple styles and levels of learners
Create comprehensive unit plans that simultaneously meet district requirements, utilize social-emotional learning techniques, and provide a more comprehensive and accurate take on the subject matter than many systems offer
Align tried-and-true classroom strategies to learning standards in an easily shareable format
Collectively, these features save time, build community, and streamline the process of correlating mandatory learning standards with the type of lessons that actually land.
The result is a major decrease in teacher burnout and an increase in the quality of K-12 instruction.
Do you see yourself in any of these descriptions? Can you think of other types of teachers who may benefit from EducatorHQ?
Keep in touch via our newsletters and socials to learn more about this program and to find out how to add your input about what teachers need.