Uplift Luna primary teacher and team lead Melissa is known as the person who will drop everything to support a teammate with questions about how to be successful in the classroom. Recently, when a teacher was unexpectedly sick and lesson/material preparations needed to be made, Melissa took the time to prepare necessary materials for a substitute so effective learning could still take place. The third-year teacher has developed into her leadership role by exhibiting a dedication to all scholars as well as her colleagues.
She provides high quality one-on-one support for her colleagues and shows incredible drive and passion in the development of others. She can be seen modeling lessons on the spot when her teammates need and example of how it actually happens in the classroom. Melissa truly loves scholars and does whatever it takes to help all of Uplift Luna’s scholars.
Melissa was recently featured on WFAA television for crowdfunding a new iPad for use in her classroom. Crowdfunding is a practice by which donations are solicited online and the community can donate toward the end goal. Melissa is using the iPad as a station during her guided reading (small group) instruction. Her innovative ideas are a product of her desire to reach scholars.
“The times I have been innovative were when a scholar was not responding to the interventions and strategies I had already implemented. My desire to help that scholar achieve in any way I can, and to reach his or her highest potential, have inspired me to be innovative. That is why I have been working on my parent communication the past few years, and feel my next step in developing in this area is to increase parent involvement in my classroom,” she said.
Parent involvement is a work in progress that will undoubtedly become a new practice in her classroom. Her current practice of IB incorporation and use of data to set a standard for scholars is what makes her classroom a great place for learning.
“I love giving my scholars a sense of independence and ownership of how the classroom is run, and they latch onto that and take it from there. By about halfway through the year, they are able to be proactive and take responsibility for their own learning (including tracking their own Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and progress towards their literacy goals) and using that to help themselves in their areas of growth. I am also trying to incorporate IB into my classroom in order to develop my scholars into globally-minded, well-rounded, inquiring, lifelong learners,” she said
Melissa would like to crowdfund another iPad for further literacy instruction and for use as a math station. More pressing, is a need that has arisen thanks to scholar literacy advancement.
“This year, I have some higher readers, so I would love some more chapter books on a fourth or fifth grade reading level to challenge them,” she concluded.