Looking back over the year, there are a lot of teacher stories that have stood out for us. These were the five that got us the most excited and thoughtful out of all of 2016, and the ones that we’re proud to give a second look.
5. “Never be afraid to ask if you can do something.”
“When my son was around 8 years old, I signed up for a two-hour evening class that would certify my to provide CPR. I was divorced, and couldn’t find anyone to watch my son for me so I brought him with me. I assumed he would read and draw pictures. As the class progressed, it was evident that he was extremely interested in what we were doing. I asked the instructor if my son could participate and I was willing to pay the fee for him. My son worked with the adults in the class for two hours and earned his CPR certificate. He was the youngest person ever certified in the county at the time. My son and I both learned that you should never be afraid to ask if you can do something. I could let him sit there and watch us, but he never would have been CPR certified.”
–Brenda Osborne, Language Arts Teacher, MacArthur Middle School
4. “Step back and think about all of the digital tools and resources out there.”
“You might think that these ideas won’t work for you because you don’t work in education, marketing, or design. But step back and think about all of the digital tools and resources out there.
While it’s helpful to know what their “intended” purpose is, that doesn’t mean it can’t also fit your specific needs. Sometimes all it takes is some creative thinking (and some trial and error), and you’ll find a way to make it work for you. Once you get started, the ideas keep coming.” Read More
–Rachelle Poth, Edmodo Ambassador & Certified Trainer
3. “Social media became an essential tool.”
“Nadia Lopez (@TheLopezEffect) shares the story of Julia DeCoteau, a 7th-grade teacher at Mott Hall Bridges Academy who used social media to execute a non-fiction unit of study based on the book I am Malala. The book tells the story of Malala, the remarkable young woman who was nearly killed because she advocated for girls to have access to education in areas like Pakistan. Ms. DeCoteau believed her students would be able to empathize with Malala’s story “because of their own experiences with daily violence and lack of equity that exist in a poor community such as Brownsville, Brooklyn.” Just prior to beginning the unit, loss of funding impacted the purchasing of the Malala books and it was at this point that social media became an essential tool. Read More.“
–C. M. Rubin, The Global Search for Education
2. “Meet the technology needs of 21st-century learners.”
“In the summer of 2015, the teachers of Paragould School District in Arkansas presented Technology Integration Specialist Matt McGowan with a challenge: transform 1960s-era classrooms to meet the technology needs of 21st-century learners. With the help of a little unexpected inspiration–a visit to Edmodo headquarters–he came up with a creative and cost-effective solution.” Read More
–Amanda Zeligs, Edmodo
1. “The students had a different idea of data, how it is used, and that it can be fun!”
“Making true connections between Project Based Learning (PBL) and math is a challenge for me. As a teacher at a first year STEAM school implementing PBL, I am constantly trying to find ways to integrate my projects in my math classes. There are superficial ways to do this, but as a math teacher, I wanted to find a way to make math the star of the show. So when Ben Paul, a data analyst at Edmodo, contacted me about coming into my class and working with the kids, I was ecstatic! He wanted to share with my students what he does at Edmodo and how important data is to his job.” Read More
–Cristina Bustamante, Teacher at Ocala STEAM Academy
Do you have any teacher stories from 2016 that are particularly inspiring? Feel free to share in the comments!