This post was written by Calvin Stocker, Instructional Coach.
I’m excited to introduce you to one of the teachers I work with, Sharline Law. Sharline shows real strengths in questioning strategies and promoting a positive climate, especially the way that she engages students in the content and helps them overcome misunderstandings. Read below to learn more about the great things going on in Sharline’s classroom.
What organization do you work for?
KIPP Voyage Academy School for Girls
What grade-level and subject do you teach?
I teach 7th grade Science.
Where did you attend college and what was your major? List all that apply.
I received my BS in Biology from Stephen F. Austin State University. Axe ’em Jacks!
I received my MS in Biology from Texas Southern University, where I will also receive my PhD.
What attracted you to teaching?
I guess you could say helping others and learning is what attracted me to teaching. I was very smart in school, however I lacked a lot of guidance. I learned that if my intelligence was combined with proper guidance & character skills, I could achieve anything! I decided to pass that golden nugget on to others; why not start with those whose minds are the easiest to mold. Aside from that, I love learning! I have learned some of the most valuable lessons, both academically and personally, while being a teacher.
What is the best part of teaching? What is the most difficult part of teaching?
The best part of teaching is the “Aha!” moment. It’s that moment when something finally clicks in their beautiful little minds and things all of a sudden make sense. Science is a very tough subject, but my girls constantly give me 100% in order to “break its code.” They have made me one proud teacher.
The most difficult part of teaching for me would be working with students who have yet to know their true potential. It really saddens me to see a student who has no vision or forethought for her future. However, I am determined to help her find it.
Describe a successful teaching strategy that you use in the classroom. How does this impact your students’ achievement?
One strategy that both the girls and I enjoy is called the “Ladder to Success.” We set a goal for them to achieve each week and everyday they have an opportunity to work towards it. I find joy in simply seeing them work towards the goal and really coming together as sisters to make sure that everyone is on the same page; they find joy in gaining the small, medium, and large successes.
When you are not working on closing the achievement gap, what do you enjoy doing?
When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my family. I have a very large family and it’s always a joy to be in each other’s presence laughing, cooking, and eating. My life would be incomplete without them in it so it’s important that I take the time out to show them how much I love them.
What three words would you use to describe the experience of participating in Teaching Excellence?