MICHIGAN CITY — Courtney Barber, a fourth grade teacher at Edgewood Elementary School, has been named the Open Up Resources EL Education K-5 Language Arts Teacher of the Month for October.

Barber’s work with EL Education K-5 Language Arts makes her one of the most innovative teachers in the country, Open Up Resources said in a release. According to the organization, the EL Education K–5 Language Arts curriculum inspires a new way of teaching language arts by engaging students through compelling, real-world content to build equitable and inclusive learning opportunities.

Most recently, Barber took the learning from her classroom to a local retirement home where students were able to share the poems they wrote during Module 1 of the curriculum with residents. She also shared a special learning moment from the event: “This year I have a non-reading student. We worked so hard during the first module to write a poem together, but his work didn’t stop there. He surprised us all by memorizing his poem and reciting it in front of his peers and our guests at our first Poetry Slam!”

Barber said her advice for any teacher considering implementing the curriculum is to know that while it does involve a lot of work, the pay off is well worth it.

“By using this curriculum I am being pushed as a teacher,” she said. “I am able to see the hard work on my end is paying off in my scholars and their work, and that is what teaching is all about!”

Open Up Resources is a non-profit on a mission to increase equity in education by making excellent, top-rated curricula freely available to districts. Learn more at www.openupresources.org.

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