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Teacher Spotlights

TEam Member Spotlight: Stephanie Sullenger


What is your role on the TEam?

Instructional Coach

Where did you study? List all that apply.

University of Texas at Austin, Hook ‘Em

Why are you passionate about education and teacher development?

Given the right circumstances, every student can be successful. The teacher is the deciding factor in the classroom; each day they can either make or break classroom culture. After seeing how improving myself as a teacher led to such a big improvement in student achievement, I’m excited to help others get to that place in their own careers.

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

My lessons became so much better when I started implementing a connection to our Big Goal into the beginning of class each day. It set a purpose for each class and students were better able to make connections to why each class day was important. I’m a big fan of starting off each lesson by making the objective for the day relevant for students.

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

Fun, Rewarding, Inspiring

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

Spend time in other people’s classrooms. It’s really helpful to take a conference period and spend it watching other people teach, and get into as many classes as possible. After you see others teach, be really reflective on what’s happening in your own classroom. Once I felt really confident with what was going on in my classroom, it became easier to help others improve their practice.

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

I enjoy spending time with my husband, family and friends, and my cute puppy Sofie. Oh, and I also love reading a great book by the pool.

Which TE-shirt is your favorite and why?

Start Strong, Finish Stronger, because that was my first TE shirt. J I also really like the message.

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