Open Up Resources EL Education K–8 Language Arts Teachers of the Month: Medill Elementary Teachers

A team of elementary teachers, at Medill Elementary of Lancaster City Schools (OH), has been named the Open Up Resources EL Education K–8 Language Arts Teachers of the Month for May 2021. The teacher leaders are being recognized for their outstanding work in their classrooms and ongoing support of teachers across the country as a member of the Open Up Resources National Professional Learning Community.

The teacher leaders’ work with EL Education K–8 Language Arts makes them some of the most innovative teachers in the country. The EL Education K–8 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.

Leigh Johnson, a colleague at Lancaster City Schools, nominated Rebecca Harrison (1st-grade teacher), Christina Hartman (2nd-grade teacher), Ashley Springer (3rd-grade teacher), Denise Mauck (3rd-grade teacher), and Samantha White (5th-grade teacher), for their leadership in piloting the EL Education K–8 Language Arts curriculum. 

Johnson shared, “[These teachers have] been instrumental in making the curriculum accessible to all students in the district during the Covid-19 pandemic.  [The educators] made Loom videos for lessons for the district so that students could access the curriculum virtually.”

Denise Mauck, a 3rd-grade teacher, said that there are many parts to the curriculum that she likes. She explained, “My favorite part is the Painted Essay. My students are able to write so much more than they normally would.” 

And Mauck shared a success story in her implementation of these materials from her classroom: “We were working on the Access to Books unit. A district administrator walked in and one of my students told him all about how Finland accesses books. He was impressed!” Mauck went on to share that this student had needed support in reading, which made this sharing a great accomplishment. “Kids really enjoy the topics!”

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. You can learn more at Learn more about our National Professional Learning Communities here.