Today’s #TeacherTuesday is Charlene Crawford, a member of the Abington Education Association. Charlene is a first grade teacher at Rydal Elementary who is also a prolific author, whose titles include “The Boy Who Called Wolf retold by the Wolf,” “Number Lake,” “I Love Me,” Lucky the Lady Bug,” and “Adventures with Granny in the Garden.” Charlene’s books may be found in the Abington Library, at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Charlene’s writing has been influenced by teaching – particularly “Number Lake.” Her students had a hard time with the concept of greater than, less than, and equal to. “I told my students a story about a fish named Hungary who was always hungry and lived in number lake,” says Charlene. “He opened his mouth to eat the number kelp. Each time he opened his mouth, it was the symbol. He was always hungry so he only opened his mouth for the biggest number. I told this story every year to my students when we got to this concept. One of my curriculum specialists was observing me teach one day and asked about my reference to Hungary. So the students told her the story. She said, ‘That’s a clever story. You should have it published.’ And that was the beginning of my love of writing for younger children.”
When Jules was teaching Government and US History, his experience and knowledge as a former criminal defense attorney and volunteer attorney with the ACLU really came in handy when he taught the US Constitution, in general, and the Bill of Rights in particular.
“Not only was I able to teach the content but how those rights protected all of us in practice, with short blurbs of my experiences,” says Jules. In addition, he served as a local elected official, township commissioner, for 19 years. That experience especially helped in teaching the differences between local, state, and federal government responsibilities and abilities to act on certain issues.
When Jules left teaching due to a disability, he started writing more and more. He writes the book reviews for Sidebar, the quarterly for the Montgomery Bar Association, and his first (hopefully in a series) novel will be published in early 2020. It is titled Justice, Justice Shall You Pursue and it is about an attorney who pursues justice, both inside or outside the law.
Congratulations on your book, Jules, and congratulations for your service to PSEA-Retired!
“I am inspired to teach because I believe that all students can and will achieve success when provided the right tools and support team,” says Ali. “I want to be part of that support team for my students. I want to provide them the tools they need to achieve their goals, as well as teach them how to use those tools. Most importantly, I want my students to know how to advocate for themselves. I believe in empowering my students to speak up for what they need to be successful, not only within the school setting but in all areas of their lives.”
Congratulations on your recognition, Ali, and thank you for starting your students on a successful path to self-advocacy!
This week’s #TeacherTuesday is Amy Migliore, a member of the Quakertown Community Education Association – QCEA who last month was named the PAEA Pennsylvania Art Education Association‘s 2019 Secondary Art Educator of the Year. Congratulations Amy! A digital design teacher at Quakertown Community High School, Amy notes, “I am inspired to teach everyday because I get excited to be in the company of fresh young minds and creative spirits. I believe our adolescent population is one of the most untapped resources of potential in our society. They are often willing to try to take on new challenges with vigor and as an art and design educator, that is refreshing and hopeful to me. I also feel compelled to invest in our young citizens because I was surrounded by so many educators and champions growing up myself. I believe the best teachers are society’s most powerful investors in the future! I am honored to be a public school educator.”
Gary recently published a new children’s book, “The Cat Burglars.” Congratulations, Gary! Here, Gary talks about teaching in his own words: “Teaching is a second career for me after starting out in the marketing research field. I actually wanted to be a teacher for a long time before I actually went back to school. I just couldn’t figure out what I wanted to teach. I had done a lot of mentoring and training as a marketing researcher, and had taught economics on an adjunct basis at the community college. My wife was an elementary school teacher and I saw how she was affecting the lives of kids every day and making a positive impact and difference. Being a 3rd degree black belt in the martial arts, I had an opportunity to teach my art to kids, some as young as 5 years old. I fell in love with teaching them and helping them learn. That’s when I decided that I wanted to be an elementary school teacher. With the help and encouragement from my wife, who always told me that I had natural teaching ability, it became a reality and there’s been no turning back. My wife was truly my inspiration. I only regret that I didn’t do it sooner.”
“I teach because I want to instill a love of learning in my students! I believe that you need to put the time into getting to know every single child,” says Jessica. “Making a connection with them will help motivate them and let them know how special they are. I like to think of my classroom as a little family. We are here for each other. Once the kids start to feel comfortable, they will open up and become more motivated to grow and learn. Every child is important and they need to feel that!”
For this #TeacherTuesday, we are focusing on Ray Riley, a health and physical education teacher at Warwick Elementary School and member of the Central Bucks Education Association. Teaching is Ray’s second career – he worked as a television journalist for almost a decade, which he enjoyed, but it never felt like a calling. He decided to do something meaningful with his career and turned to teaching. The moment he stepped in front of his first class, he says, “I knew I was in the right place. Even more so now almost 10 years later seeing some of those kids graduating college and starting successful lives is just awesome.” Ray is quick, though, to credit his colleagues. “I’m always leaning on and learning from other teachers in my building and in the profession. I think what my students get from me is what they get from every teacher I know. We all care very deeply for our students and their well-being. We all try our best to make lessons fun and engaging. What they get from me is a teacher who tries real hard to make their experience in my class the best it can possibly be.”
For #TeacherTuesday we’re highlighting Janine Briggs, a member of the Spring-Ford Education Association. In her free time, she works closely with Mostly Muttz Rescue. Last year, with the help of some of her students, she started the Animal Rescue Club. The club builds community relationships with various rescues and brings volunteer opportunities to her students. “We’re hoping to have more students join in the fun and help us support our community with many new volunteer projects!”
Today is #TeacherTuesday! We’re highlighting Jen McAndrew, a special education teacher and member of Pennsbury Education Association who recently completed dyslexia training to help instruct her students. “I felt there were many students I was unable to help. Now that I have this certificate, I have seen tremendous gains in my students’ reading levels. Approximately 20% of the population is dyslexic, and approximately 85% of students receiving special education services in reading and writing are dyslexic. I look forward to using my training to help these students become better readers and writers.”
This week’s #TeacherTuesday highlights the third grade co-teaching team of Jacquey Tofani and Patty Werdt of North Wales Elementary School who are members of the North Penn Education Association! Their co-teaching experience allowed them to collaborate and find the most effective strategies and methods to meet a wide range of needs in their classroom. Jacquey explained, “Our students benefited from small group instruction during almost every lesson, and grew into an incredible community of learners.”