Educational technology tips for teachers, librarians and schools.
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Teacher Appreciation Week Spotlight: Amy Talvac

Teacher Appreciation Week Spotlight: Amy Talvac

By Jessica Sanders

We are so excited to feature Amy this week. Not only is she a fantastic teacher, who’s not afraid to try something new to benefit her students, but she’s been a huge Whooo’s Reading advocate.

How long have you been teaching?

This is my fifth year teaching.

What’s your favorite education-focused social media account?

I like @ISTEconnects! They post helpful and relevant tips, tricks and tools for teachers with a focus on educational technology.

“I feel a great honor and responsibility in playing such an important role in their futures. Teachers are changing the world one student at a time.”

What’s your favorite classroom tech tool?

I love using Google Classroom! It makes it so easy to manage the class workflow and keep track of everything because there’s less paper. Students can view assignments, turn them in, receive feedback from me, and apply my feedback to improve their work.

I also like how easily I can post educational tools (i.e. documents, videos, links to different websites and more) so they’re all in one central location for easy student access. It saves me so much time!

Who inspires you?

My students inspire me! They’re so excited to learn each day and are willing to try new things, make mistakes, and take risks! It’s hard to be a student—I think adults sometimes forget that learning is hard work.

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Amy working in the classroom with students.

I admire their persistence when working through tough problems. I admire their empathy when they try to cheer each other up when someone is having a bad day. I admire their love of school and passion for learning new things. All of this inspires me continue to develop as an educator so I can be the best I can be for them.

What’s your teaching motto?

“We can do it!” and “You can do it!” Being able to collaborate and work with others (“We can do it!”) is just as important as having self-efficacy (“You can do it!”). I always tell the students we’re a team, we’re a family, and we can do anything together.

I want my students to have self-confidence and to believe in themselves. To do this, I place an emphasis on building community and creating a safe classroom environment, where everyone feels comfortable.

I focus on equipping my students with strategies and skills they can use across disciplines for the rest of their lives. I want them to feel prepared for handling anything. I am known for having high academic, social, and behavioral expectations for all students. I believe it’s important to develop student independence and character (honesty and respect) at a young age.

“I am known for having high academic, social, and behavioral expectations for all students. I believe it’s important to develop student independence and character (honesty and respect) at a young age.”

What do you love most about teaching?

I love how every day is different—it’s never boring! I also love being able to see firsthand the impact I’m having on the lives of my students. I feel a great honor and responsibility in playing such an important role in their futures. Teachers are changing the world one student at a time.

What’s the greatest challenge you’ve had to overcome in the classroom?

A constant challenge I’m trying to overcome in the classroom is meeting all of the academic, social, and emotional needs of my students. Every class is unique and diverse, so a teacher has to continue to adjust and adapt their teaching strategies to ensure the students understand.

Balancing academic instructional time with socioemotional instructional time can be tough, but both are equally important. Children can’t succeed academically without having their socioemotional needs met.

What’s your favorite feature in Learn2Earn’s Whooo’s Reading?

My favorite feature is the data center. I love being able to check on my students’ progress with a click of a button! I especially love how you can look at whole class data and individual student data.

I can check on how many minutes they’ve read, how many books they’ve read, and how they’re doing on their written responses to the CCSS-aligned questions. This can help me differentiate my instruction by identifying student interests, strengths, and areas of improvement. The new Lexile feature is awesome! It helps me see if the books they’re reading align with their ability.

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