Now that the school year is done, it’s time to celebrate! Here at Edcite, we wanted to end on a high note by highlighting some of the stories — the best times, the hard moments they overcame — of our Edcite users.
Who? Shirley Woods
Grade: 8th grade
School: Charles Drew Middle School
Location: Los Angeles, California
The characteristic that shines so brightly with Ms. Woods is that she believes math to be the bees knees! As Ms. Woods says: “I live, eat, and breathe mathematics.” Though Ms. Woods has been teaching at Charles Drew for 18 years, she is invigorated by teaching “is discovering new ways to spark the excitement of mathematics in my students.” This year, Ms. Woods was especially excited to see how her students “navigate through the Common Core maze.” With a teacher like yourself, we’re sure your kids are going to do great! Check out Ms. Wood’s personal biography on Author’s Den here.
Who? Tara Bellamy
School: Healthy Start Academy
Location: Durham, North Carolina
Ms. Bellamy, who has been teaching for 11 years, still loves seeing the spark in students when they “understand a lesson or hands-on activity that we have done.” She loves using both “old and new ideas in order to provide my students with a wide-range of ways to learn…”. Ms. Bellamy is passionate about educating parents in addition to her students. As Ms. Bellamy says, “I love thinking outside of the box with all students and parents. I say parents because many of them are learning right along with their child.”
This year, Ms. Bellamy was most proud of the fact that all students at Healthy Start Academy participated in the Pennies for Lymphoma fundraiser and raised over $700 dollars. According to Ms. Bellamy, “the students, staff, and parents didn’t know how the disease affects children. Everyone learned about the treatments, the effects on the child’s family and friends, and the benefit of having the fundraiser.” What an awesome accomplishment!
Who? Kathy Cary
Subject: Special Education (Math + Literacy)
School: Marshfield Junior High School
Location: Marshfield, Missouri
Ms. Cary cherishes the ‘ah-ha’ moments of teaching. As Ms. Cary explains: “I teach special education so those moments for me are very precious.” After working day after day reinforcing a certain concept and exhausting every resource she can — websites, blogs, and the suggestions of students and colleagues– the student comes to class the next day and it clicks.” According to Ms. Cary: “that is the best thing about teaching…It is about the expression on the student’s face when they realize that they CAN do it.”
Ms. Cary’s biggest school year success was with a particularly challenging student who, for the sake of this blog, we will call Donny. Donny was diagnosed with a math disability and was placed in Ms. Cary’s classroom as a 7th grader. After Donny was the only student in 10 years that Ms. Cary had to kick out of summer school, she was quite nervous to have him in her classroom in the fall. And, at the beginning of the year, Ms. Cary’s hesitation proved to be justified. Donny avoided doing his math homework and tried to sleep in class.
But, come March and April, Ms. Cary started to see “cracks in Donny’s tough guy armor.” At the end of April, Donny began to frequent Ms. Cary’s room in the morning. “He would have a story to tell, a question to ask, or just to say hi.” And Donny’s academic behavior started to change as well: “He started smiling and laughing in class, didn’t sleep, arguing, and actually started asking what I wanted him to do.” As Ms. Cary explains, Donny finally realized that Ms. Cary’s expectations of him would not change. As she says, “I continued to treat him the same as I had everyday since November. I still had the same expectations.”
In Ms. Cary’s words: “Donny was probably one of the more difficult students I have had to work with because he didn’t care and didn’t want to be reached. He didn’t want to change. I saw a change in him though that even as I write this makes me cry. This is one of my biggest successes this year.”
If you want to hear more about Ms. Cary’s classroom, click here!
Thank you to all our users who shared their stories with us! We know that this summer break is much deserved, but we are already anticipating the next school year and the many successes it will bring.