Here is another profile of one of the honored educators from the Pioneer Valley Awards for Excellence in Teaching:
Name: Ashley Fitzroy
School: Greenfield Middle School
Grade/Content Area: Grade 7, Language Arts
What was it like for you early in your teaching career? What did you find particularly challenging and how did you address it?
“I am still very early in my teaching career. I am 24 years old and have just completed my first full year of teaching. One of the many challenges I faced this year was finding the time to grade and provide meaningful feedback for 120 writing assignments at a time. Throughout the year, I developed and re-developed rubrics that would help identify the most common errors in student writing, yet remain flexible enough to address students’ unique needs. This is just one of many strategies that I’m sure I’ll try out over the course of my career.”
What is your favorite website you use to support your classroom teaching?
“I really enjoy using the grammar and punctuation resources at http://www.chompchomp.com/menu.htm.”
What is one of the biggest rewards for you as a teacher?
“It is so rewarding to watch students grow as writers and as thinkers throughout the school year. I have them keep a journal in which they write every single time my class meets. For their final prompt of the year, they had to read their journals and write about how they grew over the course of 180 days. Many students shared that not only did their writing become more clear and coherent the farther they got in the year, but their thoughts became more mature and organized as well. As adolescents turning into teens, students took pride in their growth, and I took pride in helping them achieve it.”
Congratulations Ashley! Check back often to read more bios from the Pioneer Valley Awards for Excellence in Teaching.