Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Michele Sullivan

Grade: 4

Location: Worcester, MA

Setting: Urban

Years Teaching: 7

What have been your biggest teaching challenges?

One of my biggest teaching challenges has been teaching children to think. They tend to just assume I'm going to give them information, and they will spit it back to at me, rather than trying to solve a problem on their own or in a group. I also want the boys to know that girls can do math and science just as well as they can. I want them to know that as a female teacher, I have knowledge and can teach math and science. They often respond with "You can do that?" because they still think of scientists as men.

How do you know when you need to change your approach to teaching, either in a unit or in the middle of a lesson?

I try different types of questioning in the beginning to make sure that everybody knows what we're talking about and what we're going to do. For instance, if I feel that students don't understand how to tackle something, then I'll stop and say, "Is there a student who can explain it?" Sometimes the kids are better teachers than I am.

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