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My Town Tutors had a great year in 2012, expanding our network of local teachers who tutor and communicating with more teachers and parents than ever. In 2012 we had over 35,000 people visit our site from all 50 states. In only one month this year, we have have 7,500 visitors. Our highest total to date!
One of our most popular posts is our Connected Educators list. Our followers love connected educators who are willing to share there knowledge and experience, however out list only includes twitter profiles. Many of our followers want to learn more about some incredible individuals, so we decided to highlight one connected educator during each week of 2013.
We also will be listing a Massachusetts Educator of the Month. So here it is!
Connected Educator of the Month
What is your current job of position?
Two thousand thirteen marks my 23rd year as a classroom teacher. Proudly, all of those years have been at the same elementary school. For all of those years (but one) has been spent teaching 4th grade.
What is your educational background?
Working full time while going to school at night I finally received my Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Bridgewater State College in 1989. Then in 2010, I received my Masters in Education (concentrating on Assistive Technology) from Simmons College.
Describe your educational philosophy and educational vision?
Over the years my philosophy has evolved. When I first started teaching, it included ideas about being a risk-taker in the classroom whereas, today, my ideas about education are student centered. I believe in using the Universal Design for Learning Principles, which ensures all students are learning and accessing the curriculum.
How do you grow and engage your professional learning network?
Over the last 2 years my PLN has grown through the use of different social media outlets such as Twitter, Diigo, Pinterest and Blogging via Blogger. Participating in specific chats on Twitter has connected me to many talented and exceptional educators. Off-line face to face connections occur when I attend Edcamp Unconferences and other conferences such as MassCUE.
What is the greatest benefit of your professional network?
The greatest benefit of my professional network is the shared passion for learning. If a need arises or a question needs an answer, I can reach out to those wonderful people, who might reach out to their PLN. In no time at all – information is being relayed back to me!
If you blog, what is the focus of it? How long have you been writing? Who is you audience?
In January of 2011 I participated in the Edubloggers “Kick Start Your Blogging Challenge.” Although I had 2 blog posts under my belt, the challenge really helped me fine tune my craft while helping to build my connections. After each assignment we were encouraged to comment on the blogs of other people. From that challenge I have made some lasting connections with educators with all different backgrounds.
My blog, Teaching is Elementary, started out being a blog for educators and parents. What I found in the process is that it became a great ‘reflection’ tool for me as well.
What advice in general do you have to teachers today?
My advice to teachers would be to take a risk. Do not be afraid to try or learn something new or to admit when you don’t know something (especially when it comes to technology). Connect with other educators, as there are so many wonderful teachers who are willing to help and share.
Describe a teacher who has had a significant impact on your professional development?
I think I would have to say there are many folks who have had a significant impact on my Professional Development. Each Monday night I spend 1 hour with some fabulous fourth grade teachers on Twitter during the #4thchat. Each week we discuss something new or find out what’s working/not working in our classrooms. A wiki has been created where archives of the conversations are kept and where other resources are located.
What book would you recommend to teachers?
The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller will get you excited and change the way you think about reading in school!
Grade 4 Teacher