Hi I’m Dave Stuart Jr., teacher at Cedar Springs High School and founder of the Teaching the Core blog. I believe all students and teachers should flourish, and that belief animates my work.
Like you, I’m in pursuit of big questions. I want to do all I can to ensure my students dominate life’s challenges. I want my passion for my content areas to be contagious. I want to make an impact with my career while not losing my personal life in the process.
On this blog, you’ll find me pursuing those aims through my writing. A taste of what you’ll find:
- Proven ways to get better as a teacher — and saner, too.
- Ideas for increasing your impact as a teacher and a person.
- Healthy doses of inspiration, humor, and joy.
What others have said
It’s no secret that there’s a dearth of practical how-to stuff out there written for real teachers by real teachers. This blog aims to fill a small part of that dearth. (Yes, I just used dearth like that, and no, I’m not sure it was okay.)
Other, much wiser people agree:
Dave Stuart stands between us and the Common Core standards like an Eagle Scout with all the badges who has prepared for this opportunity to help educators not only survive but thrive in the era of the Common Core. . . . As one who also teaches and writes about the Common Core, I find substantial encouragement and comfort in Dave’s practical and optimistic approach toward the standards, for he says, in short, let us accept them as an opportunity to improve our teaching, an invitation to learn.
–Jim Burke, teacher and author of more than 20 books, including The Common Core Companion: What They Say, What They Mean, and How to Teach Them
–Gerald Graff, Professor of English and Education, University of Illinois at Chicago; 2008 President, Modern Language Association of America; author of They Say / I Say
Here’s the deal:
I got into teaching because I wanted to impact students.
I did not get into teaching because I wanted to produce dog-and-pony-show lessons on evaluation day, or because I wanted to obsess over test scores.
I’m just not that can.
But I do want to be the guy who helps you get rid of the fluff and go big on practices that matter most.
So that’s what I do here: I show you how to take a non-freaked out approach to teaching. I share what actually works and fails in my history and English classes and what actually works in the classes of my awesome math and science colleagues. A lot of what I talk about pertains to the Common Core, but that’s only because there are parts of the Common Core that make a boatload of sense.
If you haven’t done so already, I invite you to subscribe to blog updates — it’s free.
All that does is send new articles I write straight to your inbox.
A Movement of Teachers Who Refuse to Freak Out
The crazy thing I’ve discovered since starting Teaching the Core in May 2012 is that, in just about every school in the nation, there are a cadre of teachers who simply aren’t about getting worked up about edu-change.
I mean, yeah, it’s not like we go out looking for change, but we also aren’t going to waste our lives worrying about it.
What we do is simple: we constantly pursue the practices that will promote the long-term flourishing of as many of our students as possible.
We’re not experts, by any means; we’re just aggressively seeking to use every minute in our classrooms as profitably as possible. Just as often as I share a decent idea on Teaching the Core, I get great ideas from readers. Sometimes they share through Twitter, other times through Facebook, and most often through the comment sections on my 150+ individual blog posts.
I am constantly amazed at the wherewithal we have when we decide to resist the isolation inherent in teaching, instead putting our heads together to figure out what works best in our classrooms.
The best way to join this growing movement of over 10,000 subscribers is to… well, subscribe, by signing up for the email list below:
I owe a lot to my alma maters
Both the University of Michigan and the American College of Education have contributed a great deal to my development as a teacher. When it comes to this blog, I am particularly indebted to ACE because, in addition to supporting my work by accepting it as my master’s project, ACE now partners with me in providing readers with the best content possible. Their sponsorship means I’m able to dedicate more time to create great content here at Teaching the Core, so please, if you’re in the market for a master’s degree, consider their program.
About Dave Stuart Jr.
When I founded Teaching the Core, I didn’t think I was founding anything — I was just trying to force myself to learn the Common Core and dominate my capstone project for my master’s degree program at the American College of Education (which I wholeheartedly recommend, by the way).
(For the record, I’m a long-time standards avoider.)
But do you know what has been my thing? Teaching.
When I first started my teaching career in Baltimore, my classes were labeled “accelerated” because most of my students were behind grade level, and we ended up ditching the basals and reading Anne Frank, Romeo and Juliet, and The Outsiders. My students appreciated the high expectations; as a “family and team,” we exceeded the high-stakes scores we were expected to get, and more than a few of us were inspired by the hard work and growth we saw in each other.
Since moving back to Michigan, I’ve been working in the Tech 21 Academy, a “school within a school” in our small, rural-suburban town. According to the numbers, our academy is made up of a larger than usual amount of socioeconomically “at-risk” freshmen, and yet our students consistently inspire us to raise our expectations. Each year, my colleagues and I push our students to read highly complex novels, plays, and books, both as a whole class and on a self-chosen basis; we also read over 70 articles and source documents. Our kids write like crazy, they argue like crazy, and they develop the habits of grit, self-control, and life domination.
In other words, we are like teachers all around the world who are working hard to give their students every possible opportunity to own their lives and develop the skills and dispositions they’ll need to flourish long-term.
I want you to know that I’m honored to serve as your guide in the quest to figure out what works best in the classroom.
I hope you’ll join me. All you have to do is enter your email below and click “sign me up!”