Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Jeanette Spinale

Grade: 5

Location: Whitman, MA

Setting: Rural

Years Teaching: 23

What have been some of your biggest challenges?

Every year you have a different group of people, and a whole set of new challenges and personalities. The needs of students—what they come to school with today as opposed to 22 years ago—are more and more serious. A lot of times the press about education is negative—what teachers are doing and what students are learning. There are so many special, special needs that students have. When you know in your heart that on some days school is the happiest place in these students' lives, it makes your job as a teacher even more difficult and challenging. But in other ways, it's rewarding to know that you can affect a life this way.

When do you decide to make a change in your approach to teaching something in math or science?

Watching the children is probably the best guideline. Observing how they are dealing with the activity, listening to their conversations, asking them to talk back to you about what they're doing and what they've found – these are very good ways to measure what they're learning and make your adjustments as you go along.

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