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TEam Member Spotlights

TEam Member Spotlight: Ashley Harris

What is your role on the TEam?

Senior Instructional Coach/ Dance Party Initiator

Where did you study? List all that apply.
University of Texas at Austin (BBA, BA)– Hook ’em horns!

University of Houston (M.Ed.)

Why are you passionate about education and teacher development?
Both of my parents are retired teachers, and I always knew that at some point I would follow in their footsteps. Having started out in the business sector, I quickly realized that I needed to find a career that was more fulfilling and made a difference to others. In my current role, I’m able to see the fruits of my labor each and every day. I know that I am helping to mold the minds of today’s youth by growing their teachers and the Instructional Coaches who support them.

Describe a successful teaching strategy that you used in the classroom or that you frequently recommend to your teachers.
Ladder to Success! This is a great tool to manage a classroom and promote a positive environment. I used it in my own classroom and have recommended it to numerous teachers that I’ve coached. Each class period or table group (if self-contained) has a close pin that represents the group and starts at the bottom of the ladder (made out of poster board with 8-12 rungs cut out). The teacher assigns points each day for meeting and/or exceeding expectations (100% homework completion, entering the classroom within a given amount of time, etc.) and the class/group with the most points at the end of the day gets to move up one rung. When a group gets to the top, there is some sort of prize. Some teachers give a prize at a halfway point as well. It’s really quite fabulous- easy to implement and great investment tool for kids. J

If you had to describe your work on the TEam in three words, what would they be?
Challenge, grow, lead

What advice would you have for an educator that aspires to become an instructional leader?
Shadow others. You can learn something from everyone. Ask questions and aspire to be your best self. Present yourself with confidence and know what you’re talking about.

When you are not working on closing the achievement gap, what do you enjoy doing?

Dancing, lots of dancing… at home, in the office, at the grocery store, and with my family. I have 3 kids: a 14 year old stepson, a 4 year old daughter and a 2 ½ year old daughter. I enjoy watching my son’s basketball games and arts and crafts with my girls. I especially like to make hair bows for my girls. I’m very involved in my church: Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church and recently joined the sign language interpreting ministry. I enjoy going to musicals and dance performances and watching So You Think You Can Dance, not to be confused with Dancing with the Stars.

Which TE-shirt is your favorite and why?
“Leave your mark. Teach.” This speaks to my desire to leave a lasting impact. It’s a simple message that means so much. What legacy will you leave? How will you be remembered?



One thought on “TEam Member Spotlight: Ashley Harris

  1. Preach, Mrs. Harris! Preach!

    Posted by Patricia A. Williams | May 29, 2012, 12:07 pm

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