In this series, “Staff Reflections,” we introduce the members of the Innovations for Learning team, who will tell us what brought them to our organization and why they’re excited to do this work.
Today: Sybil Anderson, Teacher Ambassador in the District of Columbia.
I came to Innovations for Learning in October 2011, after retiring from a long career in my hometown District of Columbia public school system. I taught for 25 years and coached teachers for seven more years, including as a Reading First literacy coach.
What I’m doing now is much what I did as a literacy coach, with the addition of TeacherMate technology.
Among other things, I support teachers with guided reading, create bag-of-books with “just right” reading levels and help with classroom management and room environment. I also aid teachers in the use of iPods and MP3 players, as well as computers used for TutorMate, troubleshooting technical issues that may arise.
I’m there, too, to lend a listening ear and to model and share best practices to all teachers and support staff when needed.
What motivates me is my love for teaching and helping children by way of coaching and supporting teachers.
I really enjoy interacting with teachers in a supportive manner, sharing, networking and giving feedback because I know how overwhelming it can get as a classroom teacher. To a teacher, having support can make all the difference.
What also motivates me is seeing the excitement and enthusiasm of teachers and students from having the latest technology — technology that’s equipped with literacy support that’s kid-friendly, teacher-friendly and fun.
The teachers love it because it requires little planning and no paperwork, it’s highly motivating for students, the feedback is immediate, and they can access the data from home or anywhere to track students’ progress.
One of my goals is to help teachers feel successful in reaching and teaching their students through the use of technology in the classroom. When this happens, they will in turn help their students succeed and achieve the district’s goal of bridging the gap in literacy.
One example: Ms. Frizzell, first-grade teacher at Randle Highlands, is new to TeacherMate. She is a young, fresh teacher and very excited about the program — especially the technology. She beams and bubbles each time I walk in her room to give her support. She always has something positive to say.
She said her students were more excited about the MP3 players when they received them than the iPods. Now, they are equally excited about both. She welcomes new ideas, suggestions, any and all collaboration, teaming and especially the tutors in TutorMate.
- Staff reflections: Michele Pulver (innovationsforlearning.wordpress.com)
- Staff reflections: Barbara Goodman (innovationsforlearning.wordpress.com)
- Staff reflections: Tahra Tibbs (innovationsforlearning.wordpress.com)
- Staff reflections: Heather Kamenear (innovationsforlearning.wordpress.com)
- Staff reflections: Jessica Nasset (innovationsforlearning.wordpress.com)