Corinne Burton, Member of the Year: Navigating the Unique PreK-12 Market

The Lamplighter Honors Gala, presented by the AAP PreK-12 Learning Group on December 8, will celebrate the extraordinary accomplishments of the learning resource industry and the ongoing mission of helping every child receive a world class education.

Corinne Burton, M.Ed., President of Teacher Created Materials, will receive the Member of the Year award for providing the AAP PreK-12 Learning Group staff with expert guidance on events, governance, and membership. Below, Corinne talks about the importance of taking an active role in the education community and what companies need to know about the unique qualities of the PreK-12 market.

What do you think is unique about the PreK-12 marketplace? What piece of advice would you give someone entering the school market for the first time?

The most unique thing about the education marketplace is the consumers we serve. We create materials for many different consumers – federal and state educators, district administrators, teachers, parents, and students. Our products must meet the needs of all of the different consumers and provide results at all of the different levels while engaging and encouraging students to become life-long learners.

The best piece advice I can give someone joining the school market is to spend as much time as possible in classrooms. You can read articles and attend conferences to find out what is happening at the district and state level, but if you want your product to really make a difference in the lives of students, you need to see it in action in the classroom.

Why is the PreK-12 Learning Group important to you? 

My goal at Teacher Created Materials is to create materials (print, digital, blended, PD, and more) for teachers and students that encourage students to become life-long learners. I feel that in this industry we are in a unique position [where] all of the member companies in the PreK-12 Learning Group have the same goal for their businesses, and by working together we can help each other achieve those goals.

Throughout my time with the Association of Educational Publishers and the new PreK-12 Learning Group I have met great business leaders and heard thoughtful insight on the education industry from peers, political leaders, university experts, and practitioners. The knowledge that I receive at PreK-12 Learning Group events helps me guide my business throughout the year and helps me look broader than my day to day decisions at my company and look at the education industry as a whole.

Teacher Created Materials was founded by my Mom, Rachelle Cracchiolo over 35 years ago in our garage. The business she built today comes from a lot of great guidance from many different people in the school market. The advice and guidance she received over the past 35 years has helped grow our business. As a member of the PreK-12 Learning Group I am still receiving advice and guidance from industry experts but also as a member I have a responsibility to help others in our industry learn the school market and build their businesses.

What do you think has been the most significant change in our industry over the past five years?

There have been a lot of changes in the past five years in our industry, but I think the most significant change has been the adoption of the Common Core standards and the new standards in the non-Common Core adoption states. The new standards have put an emphasis on preparing students for college and careers, which makes a strong demand on materials for the classroom to not just educate students on a topic in the classroom but to be encouraging problem-based learning, creative thinking, and innovative discovery.

What trend are you watching right now that you think will impact the PreK-12 market in the next 5-10 years?

The biggest trend to watch over the next 5-10 years will be the influx of technology in the classrooms. At Teacher Created Materials we are continually researching what works best in the classroom and how technology can enhance and improve learning in the classroom. As an industry I think it is important that we don’t replace print with digital in the same formats but to create truly innovative digital products blended with print products to provide the best learning outcomes in the classroom.

Learn more about the Lamplighter Honors Gala and how you can join the celebration.

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Lamplighter Honors