Ziena Walker is a second grade teacher at Southside Ashpole Elementary, part of Innovative School District, in Rowland, North Carolina.  She was introduced to the position by UI – PCG Education’s EdForce team, helping to so...

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January Instructor Spotlight

         Thirty-three-year-old Amy Dinh is an eighth-grade teacher at Elkhart Thompson Middle School, part of Richmond Public Schools (RPS).  She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and a minor in Mathematics.  Since she was a young girl, she loved to teach others and was elated when EdForce™ provided her an opportunity to teach in the public school sector.  Before making the switch to a teacher, she worked at Eurofin Lancaster Lab as a Microbiology Lab Technician for almost two years.

         As a first-year teacher, Amy feels that the EdForce team has helped her to not only become a teacher, but a great teacher.  EdForce found her an interview and provided a coach in less than two days, while Instructional Coach, Larry Marks, provided support and prepped Amy for her Chemistry Praxis exam. 

         “My coach, Larry Marks, has been with me since day one.  He constantly gives me good advice, listens to my problems, and helps me solve them.  He makes me feel I am not alone, and he is always there to support me,” Amy says.

         Larry states that Amy is a dedicated and committed first-year teacher and continues to strive to provide her students with meaningful, relevant, and real-life experiences and content.  As Amy’s EdForce instructional coach, he has provided her with instructional support and many resources, such as the VA Standards for the Professional Practice of Teachers, SOL physical science curriculum framework with objectives, and the physical science SOL test blueprint.

         “I offer suggestions for instructional strategies, assessments, and classroom management, provide weekly face to face meetings, and bi-weekly observations with feedback, which have assisted Amy in experiencing success with delivering relevant and meaningful content to her students.  I also continue to provide aid, strategies, and resources for classroom management,” Larry says.

         Amy says she loves getting to know her students and watching them grow, while having a fun time learning together.  She walks around the classroom, interacting with her students and helps them learn from their mistakes.

         She evaluates her students’ growth by assigning activities every class and quizzes every week to keep track of her students’ understanding of the knowledge.  She also checks their revised interactive notebooks to make sure they have the right notes to learn from home when the school bell rings.  Amy has also grown to be very flexible, as the schedule often changes suddenly with snow days.  During her lessons, she uses a variety of learning sources, such as SMART Board, technology, and YouTube video clips related to lesson objectives.  Her lesson plans, handouts, and guided practice activities consistently reflect the alignment of lesson objectives to Virginia’s physical science curriculum and student learning needs.

 

         

         Amy also recalls Larry’s dedication as an instructional coach.  “Around the holidays, Larry was very busy, however, he came to my ELL class and provided breakfast to encourage them to work hard before the long winter break.”  He challenged her students to put forth effort with their learning, attend school regularly, and maintain a passing grade.  Her third block students won the challenge and Larry brought in breakfast for twenty-two students and staff.

         “As her Instructional Coach, I admire Amy’s commitment and dedication to giving 100% to educate her students with real world science experiences and application,” Larry states.

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