GUEST POST: CORElaborate: Washington’s Teacher Leader Nexus

Too often the fate of an educational moment is decided without one of the most essential stakeholders at the table — the teachers.

Voices of these professionals are critical when assessing whys, hows, and what ifs of changes to our public education system. Efficacy hinges on this intimate awareness of ground-level interplay; it’s one thing to have experienced school as a student some time ago; it’s another to live its complexities today.

Washington teachers are like many of their cross-country counterparts in that our driving force is to give students high-quality learning opportunities that enable future-forward career choices they desire. Through a deep comprehension of career and college ready learning standards, rigorous application of exceptional instructional practices, and mindful reverence for the diversity of student need in our classrooms, we work diligently to serve our youth. Despite this dedication, we are bounded by experience and time, looking for additional guidance as we tackle daily challenges and seek continuous improvement. This is where CORElaborate steps in.

CORElaborate is comprised of a cohort of Washington teacher leaders who blog, tweet, and otherwise vocalize the ins and outs of classroom activities across the state. These practices alone aren’t a new framework; the internet is full of teachers sharing their craft while others eagerly admit to stealing the best ideas to implement in their classrooms. What is new and unique about the program is the collaborative discussion that is commonplace among these teacher authors and their audience. Bi-weekly #WATeachLead Twitter chats host dozens of teachers in lively discourse and blog posts spark engaging commentary about issues relevant and responsive to current events in education. When education leaders seek the pulse of education in Washington, they need look no further than CORElaborate.

This kind of peer interaction cultivates personalized professional development for educators seeking insight, suggestions, and compassionate listeners. These teacher leaders open a window into their classrooms, buildings, and districts to identify issues, collect resources, share triumphs, and build a culture of communication that is unmatched in depth and breadth of collective experience. Within this network of dedicated professionals focused on amplifying educator perspectives, the level of passion among colleagues, however digital, is palpable.

Education policy, encompassing everything from restorative practices in discipline, funding class-size initiatives, and sourcing a student’s lunch, affects everyone in our communities. Participation in these discussions can be trusted in the hands of those who wholeheartedly determine to manifest positive outcomes. CORElaborate offers a venue for such professionals, those who are reflective on their own practice while inclusive of effective practices of others, to establish a collective that moves conversations forward to action.

CORElaborate is a statewide teacher leadership program co-led by Puget Sound Educational Service District and Ready Washington. Through the use of blogging and tweeting, CORElaborate promotes teacher voice in support of and aligned to Washington’s K-12 learning standards and the Smarter Balanced assessments. Learn more at, and follow @CORElaborateWA on Twitter.