Fellow educators: Thank you for your dedication to continuous improvement

Growing up, I knew I wanted to be a teacher, and I was so excited to have my own classroom. After about five years in the classroom, I realized I not only enjoyed teaching the students but also working with the teachers to create and implement the best lessons, activities, and assessments.  I spent most of my time in the classroom at Round Rock High School, and while I fully enjoyed the classroom, I knew that my strengths would be best applied as an instructional coach.

I am currently in my third year as a math instructional coach at John B. Connally High School, where I work with math teachers to improve their instruction and pedagogy skills.  I am extremely thankful for the math teachers I work with and their creativeness and willingness to try new and different things.

Our teachers are all devoted to doing the best for our students, and they are open and receptive to trying new and different things in their classroom.  I want to highlight a few examples of our teachers and their work to improve their skills.

There are always some teachers that struggle to use foldables and more creative ways of taking notes but after working with Mr. Jones and saying “don’t think of it as a foldable, think of it as an organized note-taking system with colors” he finally opened up to the idea, embraced it and saw student engagement and mastery increase.

During a recent unscheduled walkthrough, I observed another teacher using videos to help with his initial instruction of a new skill.  His utilization of the video and the strategies with it helped the students understand the content and engage in the instruction in a non-traditional way.  This teacher has not traditionally been one that took the lead during our professional learning community meetings or shared his instructional activities.  Through the feedback from the walkthrough (and my encouragement), he eventually shared about how he used the video and was able to get more teachers to incorporate similar strategies in his classroom.

These are just two examples.  I could share so many more.  Seeing the teachers I work with try and incorporate new strategies and, as a result, seeing the student engagement and mastery in math is extremely rewarding for me, especially as the rigor of the courses continues to become more difficult.  Every day I am thankful for teachers’ willingness and openness to my suggestions and their desire to help students master the challenges of high school math.  A million thanks to you all!

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