Uplift North Hills IB Spanish teacher Laura Hayman, is definitely a candidate for the most interesting teacher in the network. She was born in Argentina, lived in Saudi Arabia, Italy, Mexico and Australia, was an attorney, and has been a teacher at Uplift North Hills for the last nine years. She brings an interesting set of life experiences that interweave perfectly into Uplift North Hills’ International Baccalaureate program.
“When I started teaching I did not have access to a computer, cell phone or any of the technology that we have today. Resources were limited, we used the textbook as the only resource and lessons were taught in isolation; not in context. Today, we have a larger number of students pursuing the IB diploma program where the curriculum includes global issues and technology,” she explained.
While technology is a larger part of curriculum at Uplift North Hills, and across the network, according to Heather Pereira Dean of Instruction for AP & IB Diploma, Ms. Hayman is successful for her interpersonal connection to scholars.
“She is passionate about language learning and challenges scholars to reach their highest academic potential. Students ask questions and take risks in her classroom because of the positive environment she has established. Not only does she have high expectations of scholars, she helps them reach their goals though continuous support and encouragement,” Ms. Pereira said.
The list of things Ms. Hayman does to help scholars learn Spanish is lengthy. She embraces IB and applies its principles; she sets goals for scholars before designing curriculum (Backwards Design), she tracks formative and summative assessment data, and has a Spanish-only environment in her classroom. These things all help her advance scholar growth, but her passion for culture really motivates her.
“I feel passionately about teaching my own language and traditions, and I want to encourage and motivate all scholars to learn. It’s a real honor to be a small part of a young adult’s education and it’s extremely rewarding to witness their growth, respect and commitment to the Spanish program. I am always looking for ideas and ways to innovate and motivate the students to develop their curiosity and desire to learn Spanish. I am confident that it will help them in their future careers and in being well-rounded individuals,” she said.
Ms. Hayman enjoys gardening outside of the classroom but her best day is when she can cultivate scholar achievement.
“When I see the students engaged in their learning, making progress and feeling proud of what they have accomplished, “she said.