When you walk into Barb Currey’s classroom at Cuyahoga Heights Elementary School, her students are the ones leading their learning. “Barb encourages them to find their own answers to their scientific wonders by designing lessons that allow them the time to experiment, take risks, and explore new resources to learn the content,” said second-grade teacher and colleague Courtney Denison. “She creates meaningful, deep learning experiences for students by having them engage in hands-on, inquiry-based learning opportunities. True, authentic learning happens because of the environment she has created within her classroom.”
Currey’s exceptional work in the classroom recently earned her recognition by the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation’s Teachers Honoring Teachers Program. According to Denison, who nominated Currey for the recognition, students are excited from the moment they walk into her classroom to the moment they leave. “Barb's students are able to clearly communicate their learning goals because they are excited to share not only the product they create but also the process behind their learning,” said Denison. “This is the type of teaching that all teachers should strive for -- a classroom that promotes authentic, student-centered experiences in which students' interests and learning styles drive the instructional practices.”
According to Denison,Currey developed her teaching practice through years of research and collaboration with all of her colleagues. “She is not only a leader within the classroom but also within the school district,” said Denison. “She works with educators from all grade levels and constantly communicates to ensure that students' best interests are at the forefront of her instruction.”
In recognition of Currey’s work and Denison’s effort to showcase it, the Foundation awarded the teachers $500 each to be used in their classrooms. In addition, Currey’s story, as presented by Denison, is being featured on the Foundation’s website at https://www.mhjf.org/blogEstablished in 1959, The Martha Holden Jennings Foundation recognizes and supports Ohio’s public school teachers leading the way in their fields and allowing their students to grow and develop to their greatest potential.