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TEam Member Spotlights

TEam Member Spotlight: Petra Claflin

What is your role on the TEam?

Instructional Coach Support Specialist (I coach teachers and other coaches)

Where did you study? List all that apply.

University of Virginia (undergrad degree in English)

University of St. Thomas (masters in education)

Why are you passionate about education and teacher development?

When I started teaching, I was not great. I have a lot of regrets about what my kiddos needed that I didn’t give them and I don’t want any new teachers in Houston to feel the same way. And speaking of kiddos, there are so many of them that need great teachers to push them to become great readers and thinkers and people and coaching is a way to make sure our teachers are able to do their job well as soon as possible.

Describe a successful teaching strategy that you used in the classroom or that you frequently recommend to your teachers.

Building positive relationships with students. While teachers are learning their profession and figuring out this thing called teaching, one thing we all can do with very little training, is reach out and build a relationship with a student. The better our relationships with students, the harder they’re going to work in our classes no matter how inadequate some of our early lessons may be J

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

Inspiring, collaborative, and important!

What advice would you have for an educator that aspires to become an instructional leader?

No matter what your present role, if you walk the walk and show humility and ownership in everything you do, you are already a leader and people will quickly see it.

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

Dancing in the living room with the kids or reading my Kindle.

Which TE-shirt is your favorite and why?

This year’s, ‘Stay humble, Stay hungry’ shirt because that really sums it up. The moment we think we’re done is the moment children start falling behind.



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