Congratulations Ms. Russell
Anderson-Livsey's 2013 Teacher of the Year
Philosophy & Beliefs of Ms. Russell
Teaching, at its core, is inspiring students to discover the world around them. Rather than passing knowledge along to my students, I help them to relate to their education in a way that gives them ownership. My role in the classroom is to facilitate the process of learning rather than to dictate it. I liken it to a dinosaur fossil excavation in that the students reveal the bones that lie beneath the soil one brush stroke at a time. My job is to ensure that they are using the correct tools and working together to unearth the great beast. By the end of the school year, the whole dinosaur comes into view, and they can say, “We did it!” not, “My teacher did it.” It is an experience they will remember forever.
I believe that teaching is more than telling, more, even, than just showing. Teaching is a way of arousing the students’ intellect and encouraging them to be great thinkers. This is accomplished through engaging lesson content, effective questioning, and providing problem solving opportunities across the curriculum. Engaging lessons include hands-on activities for kinesthetic learners, the use of charts and technology for visual learners, and a variety of content rich literature for linguistic learners. Teaching to different learning styles allows the teacher to provide rigorous instruction to a variety of students. Throughout these lessons, teachers must ask questions that cause students to reflect upon their learning activities and draw conclusions. Utilizing Essential Questions as a summarizing strategy and asking level three and four questions on the depth of knowledge scale will provide instant feedback to the teachers and the students. And finally, we must allow students to apply their new knowledge to problems that arise in order to assess and reinforce understanding. Through these types of learning experiences, students can and will experience success.