I’m Amanda Sebba, and I’m excited to introduce you to one of the teachers I coach, Sean Phoebus. One of Sean’s strengths is promoting positive climate, especially the way that he has built positive relationships with his students. Another related strength is his sense of urgency—his students enthusiastically participate in his lessons, and when he asks a question, virtually every hand shoots up. Read below to learn more about the great things going on in Sean’s classroom.
What organization do you work for?
I work for KIPP Intrepid in the East End.
What grade-level and subject do you teach?
I teach 5th Grade English Language Arts.
Where did you attend college and what was your major? List all that apply.
I attended Saint Louis University in – you guessed it – Saint Louis! I studied English, French, and International Relations
What attracted you to teaching?
I have always wanted to give back to communities similar to those I grew up in, and I believe the best way to shape the future is to ensure that all of our children are receiving the education that will help them make the world a better place.
What is the best part of teaching? What is the most difficult part of teaching?
I love the look on the faces of my students when the material finally clicks for them especially if they have been struggling in my class. On the flipside, I sometimes struggle with reaching all of my learners; it’s something that I have been trying to work on.
Describe a successful teaching strategy that you use in the classroom. How does this impact your students’ achievement?
I love having students give each other shout-outs throughout the class: two claps and a roar (our school mascot is the lion), firecrackers, rounds-of applause, dropping “knowledge bombs,” and various other little acknowledgments. Because of this, my students really enjoy sharing their thoughts and answers in class as they know it’s a safe place to share their ideas.
When you are not working on closing the achievement gap, what do you enjoy doing?
Playing pick-up games of soccer. Watching college football and basketball. Marathoning guilty pleasure Netflix shows.
What three words would you use to describe the experience of participating in Teaching Excellence?
Challenging. Engaging. Worthwhile.