Educational technology tips for teachers, librarians and schools.
Teacher Spotlight

Teacher Appreciation Week Spotlight: Beth Sandford

Teacher Appreciation Week Spotlight: Beth Sandford

By Jessica Sanders

Today’s Teacher Appreciation Week spotlight is Beth Sandford, a 2014 Teacher of the Year winner. Despite having minimal access to technology in her school, she still manages to make the most of what she has. She’s an inspiration for her students and fellow educators.

“In this classroom YOU ARE important, loved, respected. YOU ARE a contributing part of our team. YOU ARE valued, listened to, successful.”

Q. How long have you been teaching?

I have been teaching for 18 years, with a 5-year break in the middle to stay at home with my two boys. My highlight was being selected as Teacher of The Year in 2014 for Mountain Empire School District.

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

I love Twitter for the tremendous resources they offer and the ways it can connect you to resources. It’s hard to choose just one, but @Eutopia and @Teaching Channel are favorite resources that I use weekly.

Q. What’s your favorite classroom tech tool?

Unfortunately the school in which I teach is not technologically up to date so all my students have are 10 computers. But, we’ve been able to do so much with so little. We use programs like VERSO, Google Classroom, Learn2Earn.

beth teacher of the year

Beth in the classroom, working with students.

Q. Who inspires you?

I am most inspired by my students. Each year I’m driven in a direction that fits the needs of my current class. I’m also inspired by other teachers.

I am passionate about learning and I share that with my students and other teachers!

Q. What’s your teaching motto?

“In this classroom YOU ARE important, loved, respected. YOU ARE a contributing part of our team. YOU ARE valued, listened to, successful.”

Q. What do you love most about teaching?

Change! Every year, every week, every day, brings something new and exciting. There are so many amazing ways to teach and inspire students. I love having the power to inspire and encourage the discovery of learning.

“Many of my students don’t even have a computer at home, so what they’re exposed to is just what they get in school. With limited resources, I have to be that much more creative in what I can bring them.”

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

The greatest challenge has been wanting to teach technology, and not having the resources to teach the way I want to! Many of my students don’t even have a computer at home, so what they’re exposed to is just what they get in school. With limited resources, I have to be that much more creative in what I can bring them.

Q. What’s your #1 tip for new teachers?

Embrace the fact that it’s okay to change the course! So often new teachers stay the course when it isn’t working. They need to know that revising the plan is part of learning.

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