Teacher Spotlight – School Outfitters Blog http://blog.schooloutfitters.com Furnishing Great Places To Learn Fri, 05 Feb 2016 21:51:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.10 Teacher Spotlight: Donna Countryman http://blog.schooloutfitters.com/2013/09/teacher-spotlight-donna-countryman/ Fri, 06 Sep 2013 21:11:14 +0000 http://blog.schooloutfitters.com/?p=2250 Grade(s) Taught:
K-5th grade

Subjects Taught:
All (math, reading, science, social studies)

School Name:
Northeast Elementary School in Goldsboro

State:
North Carolina

Teaching Motto:
Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.


How many years have you been teaching?
10 years

Who or what inspired you to become a teacher?
My daughter, Heather. She was born with Down Syndrome and she has shown me how to teach other children with disabilities. To be kind, patient, understanding but firm and consistent. This is the way I taught her and this is the way I teach my students today.

What advice would you give to a new or struggling teacher?
Go in to teaching with love for children. Have high expectations for your students and strive to help them reach these expectations. DO NOT GIVE UP!! Teaching is hard work and it is really a 24/7 type of job. You never are able to leave it at school.

My best day in the classroom was when:
When I was teaching about how apples are grown from a tree, not just bought in a grocery store. A student came up to me with an apple in his hand from lunch and looked on the bottom of the apple and said Ms. Donna, here is the where the flower was before the apple grew. WOW!! I did get through to him!!

What’s your one must-have item for your classroom?
SMART Board

If you could have one teacher superpower, what would it be?
To be able to provide safe, secure, love for each of my students at home as well as in school. 95% of our students live in houseing projects where guns going off in the middle of the day or night is an everyday occurance. I would love for my students to not have to live in this type of neighborhood and to show respect for adults in their lives.

What was the last non-academic book you’ve read?
Nicholas Sparks – A Safe Harbor

What profession other than your own would you most like to attempt?
Composer of Music

Have a question you’d like to ask your fellow educators?
Why do teachers have to beg, borrow and steal to get a decent raise or salary when we are the ones who teach the children to be doctors, lawyers, star athletes and millionaires? Something is basically wrong with this picture.

If you would like to be considered for our Teacher Spotlight, simply take a few minutes and fill out the questionnaire.

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Teacher Spotlight: Robert L. Sharpley http://blog.schooloutfitters.com/2012/02/teacher-spotlight-robert-l-sharpley/ Wed, 08 Feb 2012 17:42:27 +0000 http://blog.schooloutfitters.com/?p=1084

Grade(s) Taught:
6,7, & 8

Subjects Taught:
English Language Learners: English and Reading

School Name:
Krueger Middle School

State:
Texas

Teaching Motto:
You will learn more from each other than you’ll ever learn from me.

How many years have you been teaching?
21 years

Who or what inspired you to become a teacher?
Seeing the sparkle in the eye of a learner when they get it is what inspires me daily!

What advice would you give to a new or struggling teacher?
Do not close the school down with the janitors. Manage your time efficiently through organization. Track each paper, task and learner.

My best day in the classroom was when:
I could feel the excitement in the room as kids with very little language experience got excited about using edmodo in class to communicate with each other and their teacher in English. One in particular, a Somali refugee, is regularly writing (sometimes three times a day) to me and her classmates.

What’s your one must-have item for your classroom?
Projected laptop with document camera attached.

If you could have one teacher superpower, what would it be?
Magic wifi enabling so I could magically transform the six computers sitting in my room to usable tools for kids to blog, upload/download, share work, research and take charge of their education.

What was the last non-academic book you’ve read?
The Shack

What profession other than your own would you most like to attempt?
Guest speaker at TED for use of innovative educational technologies.

Have a question you’d like to ask your fellow educators?
How do you get your learners motivated to finish their writing projects after time has been invested in modeling and used prewriting?

If you would like to be considered for our Teacher Spotlight, simply take a few minutes and fill out the questionnaire.

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Teacher Spotlight: Laurah Jurca http://blog.schooloutfitters.com/2011/12/teacher-spotlight-laurah-jurca/ Mon, 05 Dec 2011 17:13:56 +0000 http://blog.schooloutfitters.com/?p=908 Grade(s) Taught:
K-8 (currently working with 4th and 2nd)

Subjects Taught:
ESL, ESOL, Language Arts

School Name:
James McHenry Elementary

State:
Maryland

 

Teaching Motto:
Every child is smart in one way or another, and it is our job as educators to help them find a way to show it.

How many years have you been teaching?
4

Who or what inspired you to become a teacher?
To be honest, I never wanted to be a teacher. It wasn’t until I started looking for “real” jobs after finishing my BA that teaching became appealing. At that time, I wanted to eventually teach English to adults overseas. During my student teaching, I was primarily in a middle school and fell in love with students that age. Since then, I have been in the classroom and I love each and every one of my students. Their smiles, questions and enthusiasm are my daily inspiration.

What advice would you give to a new or struggling teacher?
It will get better! Teachers are expected to do so much today, that it is sometimes easy to forget that we are here for the students, not the paperwork or standardized tests.

Take a moment, step back from the paperwork and extra requirements, and look into the face and smiles of your students. THEY are the reason we are here.

My best day in the classroom was when:
That’s a hard choice. Academically, it was when a newcomer student who had been in the country only three months came to tell me that he passed our state Math end-of-grade test. We had been working in class every day, and after school two days a week for two months to help him pass this test. I’ll never forget his face when he rushed in to tell me he passed. I really felt like we BOTH passed, because math is really difficult for me and I had to work really hard to prepare him.

What’s your one must-have item for your classroom?
 My LCD projector and doc camera

If you could have one teacher superpower, what would it be?
The ability to duplicate myself, so that I could have another “me” doing lesson plans, making materials, copying and grading papers while I teach the kiddos.

What was the last non-academic book you’ve read?
All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris

What profession other than your own would you most like to attempt?
Being a journalist. I do have a degree in that field, but due to the low pay (even lower than teaching) and crazy hours for most entry level positions, I’ve never done it. I’d love to have been embedded in the Middle East reporting on the war, or to be a travel writer.

If you would like to be considered for our Teacher Spotlight, simply take a few minutes and fill out the questionnaire.

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Teacher Spotlight: Angie McDaniel http://blog.schooloutfitters.com/2011/11/teacher-spotlight-angie-mcdaniel/ Mon, 21 Nov 2011 16:32:14 +0000 http://blog.schooloutfitters.com/?p=783

Grade(s) Taught:
5-8

Subjects Taught:
Science, technology

School Name:
Kasson Middle School

State:
WV

Teaching Motto:
Science is an imaginative adventure of the mind seeking truth in a world of mystery.

How many years have you been teaching?
17

Who or what inspired you to become a teacher?
My 4th grade teacher inspired me to become a science teacher by incorporating many science activities and involving us in an after school program about ecology. The best thing is that I now work in the same building that she does, so my mentor is always near for advice!

What advice would you give to a new or struggling teacher?
Find someone that you can go to with questions…a mentor is essential to success. I’ve taught 17 years and still go to my mentor. The awesome thing is that she now comes to me too!! Build a relationship with someone you can count on!

My best day in the classroom was when:
My seventh graders found out that they had placed first in the state in an online STEM competition. They each won 1000.00 savings bond.

What’s your one must-have item for your classroom?
My computer

If you could have one teacher superpower, what would it be?
The ability to fix bad behavior with a single glance.

What was the last non-academic book you’ve read?
Flash and Bones

What profession other than your own would you most like to attempt?
Forensics…I love the idea of solving crimes and mysteries. I love the science of DNA and fingerprinting and think that if I went back to school it would be in this field.

 

If you would like to be considered for our Teacher Spotlight, simply take a few minutes and fill out the questionnaire.

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Teacher Spotlight: Nicole Landon http://blog.schooloutfitters.com/2011/11/teacher-spotlight-nicole-landon/ Mon, 14 Nov 2011 17:46:39 +0000 http://blog.schooloutfitters.com/?p=764

Grade(s) Taught:
K-5

Subjects Taught:
Gifted, all subjects (classroom teacher)

School Name:
Craig Elementary

State:
Georgia

Teaching Motto:
Raise the bar so kids reach for it…If you lower it, they’ll take a seat.

How many years have you been teaching?
11

Who or what inspired you to become a teacher?
The teachers I had throughout my career as a student, especially prior to college, showed me the impact that a teacher could have on the life of a child.  Having a person care so much about my desire to learn made my learning so much more important and valid to me.

What advice would you give to a new or struggling teacher?
Close your door and do what you know is best for students.  Even if it’s not what the “system” says you should be doing, if your children are succeeding, you’re doing it right!

My best day in the classroom was when:
A group of my students came into class after taking a standardized test and were so excited to tell me “We were able to figure out a word on the test that no one else could because we applied our root words (Greek and Latin that we’ve studied all year) and broke the word down!!”  Their excitement over the *application* of knowledge made up for the fact that they have 43 days of testing each year (which I struggle to justify to parents)…

What’s your one must-have item for your classroom?
Books!

If you could have one teacher superpower, what would it be?
Organization!  I wish I would always be able to put my hands on the tools I know I have, but can’t remember where I filed them! 😉

What was the last non-academic book you’ve read?
Regarding the Trees by Kate Klise and M. Sarah Klise

What profession other than your own would you most like to attempt?
Back-up singer for Duran Duran :)

 

If you would like to be considered for our Teacher Spotlight, simply take a few minutes and fill out the questionnaire.

 

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Teacher Spotlight: Brooke Grill http://blog.schooloutfitters.com/2011/11/teacher-spotlight-brooke-grill/ Mon, 07 Nov 2011 16:44:55 +0000 http://blog.schooloutfitters.com/?p=736

Grade(s) Taught:
7-8

Subjects Taught:
Right now all, but in the past just science

School Name:
South Suburban Montessori School

State:
Ohio

Teaching Motto:
That which does not kill you makes you stronger.

How many years have you been teaching?
6

Who or what inspired you to become a teacher?
Actually many people. My mother who has taught for nearly thirty years now.  She’s amazingly organized and patient. My fifth grade teacher who was so amazingly mean and ill fitted to the career that I vowed to not allow another kid to have a teacher like her.

What advice would you give to a new or struggling teacher?
To focus on what good they see in the day or week or month and hold on to it. It may be one kid who just says something nice or a break through with a student who has struggled. Don’t allow the bad to affect how you do your job.

My best day in the classroom was when:
My students threw me a baby shower they completely set up on their own. I was surprised and beyond moved. It was the nicest thing to see middle school students, people that most others write off as unruly or misbehaving get together and plan something like this for me. I cried.

What’s your one must-have item for your classroom?
Overhead projector

If you could have one teacher superpower, what would it be?
Geez this is hard. I’m going to say the power to motivate. The unmotivated kid is my kryptonite and it’s such a challenge to get a child interested in things they just don’t want to be interested in. Sometimes that’s school in general.

What was the last non-academic book you’ve read?
Angels & Demons by Dan Brown

What profession other than your own would you most like to attempt?
Zoo keeper or zoo education specialist. I actually did the latter for awhile, but decided on classroom teaching as my calling.

Have a question you’d like to ask your fellow educators?
How do you help a student whose emotional problems get in the way of the learning experience?

 

If you would like to be considered for our Teacher Spotlight, simply take a few minutes and fill out the questionnaire.

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Teacher Spotlight: Kimberley Walker http://blog.schooloutfitters.com/2011/10/teacher-spotlight-kimberley-walker/ Mon, 31 Oct 2011 14:51:57 +0000 http://blog.schooloutfitters.com/?p=702 Grade(s) Taught:
First, Second, and Currently 3rd Grade. All with the same students!

Subjects Taught:
All Elementary

School Name:
Rockwood Elementary

State:
OK

Teaching Motto:
Don’t just do enough to get by, do enough to get ahead!

How many years have you been teaching?
9

Who or what inspired you to become a teacher?
I love explaining new things to children. I call myself a “professional explainer”. To see the students use knowledge that I introduced to them is just an amazing feeling!

I initially wanted to be a Child Psychologist but soon realized that I could do that and help MANY children at once instead of one child an hour.  My career is the second most important thing to me. I have learned to do it well after many years but I also love that I am still learning after many years!

What advice would you give to a new or struggling teacher?
Don’t be mediocre. Don’t minimize your impact.  Don’t think you can catch up, do it today. Know that there are bad days, horrible days, and then also know that there are amazing, beautiful, life changing days.  You are the idol to the children in your classroom.  Do not let them down. You can do it!

My best day in the classroom was when:
Being able to loop up with children from first, second, and now third grade has brought many “great” days.  My “best” day ever is yet to come.  It will be when I see these students graduate high school.

What’s your one must-have item for your classroom?
Pencil and Paper. I can teach ANYTHING with these two items.

If you could have one teacher superpower, what would it be?
Be able to help each student one on one EVERY DAY!

What was the last non-academic book you’ve read?
All That is Bitter and Sweet by Ashley Judd

What profession other than your own would you most like to attempt?
Nursing

Have a question you’d like to ask your fellow educators?
How do you not become a “teach the test” teacher?

 

If you would like to be considered for our Teacher Spotlight, simply take a few minutes and fill out the questionnaire.

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