In just a few short weeks, teachers from all over the state of Georgia will be able to get a glimpse into a classroom at Upson-Lee South Elementary through the use of professional learning webinars provided by the Georgia Department of Education (DOE). ULSE Second Grade teacher Suzy Love was selected as one of the participants of the program, which will provide digital resources for teachers throughout the state pertaining to the new Common Core standards for education, which are being implemented nationwide to help prepare students for college and future careers. Susan Jacobs (ELA Program Specialist) and Daniel Rock (Literacy Program Specialist) of the DOE stated that Love was chosen due to high recommendations from faculty and staff on both the local and regional level.
“Her name was one we kept hearing over and over when we asked for recommendations, so we got in touch with her and she sent us some of her lesson plans,” said Jacobs. “We liked what we saw, so we asked if she would be willing to participate in the webinars and she was more than happy to help.”
Love has been a teacher at ULSE for the past eight years and was excited to be chosen as part of the webinars. When watching her interact with her students, it is obvious she has a passion for education, which she continues outside of ULSE by teaching Early Childhood Education at Southern Crescent Technical College, dance at Sarah Armstrong School of Dance and serving on the board for the Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy. It is that passion that Jacobs and Rock felt would make the video a success.
This summer Love was in charge of writing the ELA (English Language Arts) units for the second grade according to the new standards for the 2012-2013 school year and it was while working on those that she first came in contact with the DOE. She, along with the other second grade teachers, wanted to use “Charlotte’s Web” for teaching reading through novel studies, but it was not listed as one of the choices. So she checked with the DOE to see if it would be ok to tailor the curriculum to their students.
“I get really involved with the characters as I read aloud and the kids get really excited, which is great because if they love the book then they will be very involved too,” said Love. “‘Charlotte’s Web’ is a book that as a grade level all the teachers wanted to read and felt like the children would enjoy it. So I emailed the director at the DOE to see if it would be ok to include it and they said yes, that was a fabulous idea because they wanted teachers to take the units and make them their own. The “Charlotte’s Web” unit is actually the one they decided to use for the webinar as well.”
Love explained the webinar consists of five different parts: an intro which discusses the planning process, next a culminating activity section which gives the overall objective of the unit, then a segment on guided reading, centers and small group exercises, fourth a strategies and activities section and finally a segment on assessments to evaluate how students are learning throughout the unit.
“I was a little nervous at first about filming the webinar, but they were great to work with. Working with Daniel and Susan was a breeze. I’m honored to be a part of it; it was a great experience.”
ULSE Principal Dr. LaSharon McClain is thrilled to have one of the school’s teachers featured on the state website and is very proud of Love for being chosen to be part of it.
“Ms. Love has done a great job of embracing the new common core standards and developing a great ELA unit for her team this year. She is a good leader and I am excited that she is part of an effort to help all teachers throughout the state of Georgia. She has done an excellent job.”
The webinars will be available to teachers online in the coming weeks.