Former National Teachers of the Year reflect on how their instruction can better support their students' learning and growth. Teachers share how they expand their impact by constantly reassessing their work and collaborating with other teachers.
Kindergarten teacher Elizabeth Iwaszewicz shares how she pairs native English speakers with English-language learners during a turn-and-talk exercise to improve their speaking and listening skills.
Kristin Gray, a K-5 math specialist at Richard A. Shields Elementary School in Lewes, Del., shares a strategy for eliciting student discussion by providing her students with a picture that can be used to talk about numbers, shapes, and patterns. Students share what they notice and wonder about the image in pairs and as a class.
Sarah Brown Wessling, an English teacher at Johnston High School in Iowa, shares how she bounces back after a 'bad' lesson. Overplanning can result in an overly complex lesson, so it's important to make changes as the lesson goes on, based on the needs of students.
Ryan Reilly, a 1st grade teacher at White Center Heights Elementary School in Seattle, and Donella Oleston, a kindergarten teacher there, teach students how to make evidence-backed claims when reasoning about groups of objects. Both teachers create opportunities for students to share with the class their ideas and what they noticed.
Joshua Parker, an instructional coach at Paul Laurence Dunbar Senior High School in Washington, D.C., and Marquis Colquitt, a 9th grade English teacher there, discuss the importance of relationship building. They explain why communication and mindfulness are key to the success of their coaching sessions and how their positive relationship is the foundation that they build instruction upon.
Ryan Reilly, a 1st grade teacher at White Center Heights Elementary School in Seattle, shares how he uses related equations so students can identify similarities and differences in numbers and symbols. By noticing patterns, they learn to justify their reasons and can then solve similar problems.
Donella Oleston, a kindergarten teacher at White Center Heights Elementary School in Seattle, uses a think-pair-share activity so students can practice constructing arguments by reasoning. Students look at groups of objects and make claims about how they are the same or different.
Anna Dearlove, a 2nd grade teacher at Glen Park Elementary School in San Francisco, uses hand gestures when she introduces new vocabulary. This strategy supports all students, including English-language learners, who can use their hands when they have difficulty articulating their understanding.
Joshua Parker, an instructional coach at Paul Laurence Dunbar Senior High School in Washington, D.C., explains how equity is an essential focus of his practice. He provides teachers with the support and tools to reach all students and to recognize that learning needs are diverse.