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TEam Member Spotlights

TEam Member Spotlight: Diana Wu

What is your role on the TEam?

Induction Teacher Leader for Summer 2012, providing development/instruction to and facilitating sessions for incoming teachers during TE Induction

Where did you study? List all that apply.

Rice University plus an amazing summer abroad at University of Melbourne

Why are you passionate about education and teacher development?

I’ve always been into academics (tutoring friends in high school, TAing in college, teaching English abroad post-college). At YES, I love working with both the staff and students in an atmosphere filled with positive culture and transformative relationships. We are providing students with opportunities they otherwise wouldn’t have, and I find that to be very meaningful. Regarding teacher development, I remember how difficult my first year was, and how much I’ve grown since then and continue to grow, so it’s great to be able to simultaneously help develop new teachers as well as develop myself as a leader.

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

Total Physical Response! Teaching prime factorization? Have the students use their arms to show branches of a tree and say “break it down now” so they remember that prime factorization is breaking down a number into its prime factors and the strategy is a factor tree. Teaching vocabulary for a circle? Have students use their hands to represent the relationship between radius, diameter, and circumference. Using TPR provides a kinesthetic activation of what strategies and information they were previously taught, without just giving them the answer, and it’s engaging for everyone.

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

Collaborative, Purposeful, Growth

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

Observe and mentor under existing instructional leaders. Ask them questions, observe their styles, get their feedback when you facilitate a session for other adults. Also, don’t be shy – ask about opportunities and let your leaders know that you want to be a leader yourself. I wouldn’t have most of the leadership experience I’ve gained if I had not just asked and applied.

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

Mostly spending time with my friends. Also listening to music, swing dancing, playing piano, video and board games, watching TV, relaxing…the usual.

Which TE-shirt is your favorite and why?

I really like my first TE shirt: “I’m kind of a big deal. I’m a Teacher. Teaching Excellence 2009-2010.” I also like the simplicity and message of the “I heart TE” shirts.


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