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James Bean

Jim Bean
James Bean

Name: James Bean
School: Botts Elementary School, Menifee County School District
City: Denniston
State: Kentucky
Grade(s): HeadStart, Kindergarten, 1st and 3rd grades
Subject(s): Special Education/Resource and Science

What quote inspires you?
“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school”. – Albert Einstein

“A true man of honor feels humbled himself when he cannot help humbling others.” – General Robert E. Lee

“Great things happen to those that work hard.”- Dave Buquo

What is your favorite color and why?
Kelly Green—for my favorite college team, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish

What is your favorite piece of furniture in your classroom?
The blue round student desk…this is where my students learn the basics that are needed for success in the world.

How would you describe your teaching style?
I have a blend of “old school” combined with new, innovative ways to reach kids. Several years ago, I read “Teach Like a Pirate” and it totally changed the way I taught in my classrooms. I try to be able to make a personal connection with my students, regardless of what I am teaching.

When did you know you wanted to become a teacher?
I knew I wanted to be a teacher from an early age. I had great teachers in K-12, but then going back into a classroom and observing, while I was in college, really gave me that desire to become a teacher.

What is your favorite lesson/unit to teach?
I love to teach weather and parts of earth science (earthquakes, volcanoes, etc.), as part of science units. This is a subject that kids can directly relate to, and has instant relevance.

What is your greatest challenge in teaching?
The school I teach at is in one of the most impoverished counties in Kentucky. What I am seeing, for the largest part, is the lack of parental support, or for that matter, actual parents in the homes. For various reasons, our students are raised mainly by grandparents/other family members, “babysitters” or in foster care. Because of these atypical family arrangements, one of the primary focuses of our school is to provide each student a warm, safe and nurturing environment. One of the core beliefs of my school states: “We believe a safe and supportive environment is essential to garnering self-worth in EVERY student.”

As the teachers and staff in the building are well aware of the above-mentioned issues, and the need that the students have emotionally…that connection with a positive adult, is one of the greatest challenges I have in teaching right now. We, as a building, have to meet these emotional needs before we tackle content. For most, the meals and snacks we serve may be the only food the kids get. The Family Resource Center may be the only resource for food, clothes and school supplies that most of our kids have. We have to fulfil the basic human needs of the children first, before we can teach our lessons and content to our students. That is the greatest challenge in teaching for me at this time.

If you could have a career other than a teacher, what would it be?
A professional singer

What’s something your students probably don’t know about you?
That I grew up in Cincinnati, not eastern Kentucky. That I lived in the same socio-economic, and family situation, as most of my students now live in. That I was raised without a father, but have been successful.

If a student were to remember something about your class 50 years from now, what do you hope it would be?
That I was caring first…that I cared about their needs and ideas. Second, I hope that they knew that I was honest with them—if we had a boring part of content we had to cover, I was up front with my classes, and we endured as a class. Lastly, I hope that I had their best interests at heart, and my ultimate goal was to help prepare them for their lives in society…if I was hard on them for a test, then I was preparing them for when they have to endure something hard in life.

What are your three favorite books?
1. The Frontiersmen by Allan Eckert
2. The Civil War Series by Shelby Foote
3. Anything written by P.T. Deutermann

Which do you prefer:

pen or pencil

coffee or tea

morning or afternoon

hot lunch or packed lunch

dentist or faculty meeting * Is there a third option?

If you would like to be considered for a future Educator Spotlight, send this completed questionnaire and a picture to kellie.noszka@schoolsin.com.

Heather Erlandson

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Heather Erlandson

Name: Heather Erlandson
School: McCormick Elementary School
City: Farmington
State: New Mexico
Grade(s): 5th
Subject(s): All general elementary

What quote inspires you?
“When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.” – Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

What is your favorite color and why?
It’s changed throughout the years, and I’m currently enjoying green. It’s fresh, clean, and reminds me of being outdoors.

What is your favorite piece of furniture in your classroom?
I love my mobile cubbies—they allow kids to be more independent in getting materials they need, and I love being organized and knowing where everything is!

How would you describe your teaching style?
Very structured, with flexibility offered within the structure. It’s wonderful to see the kids get creative, while feeling secure with boundaries. 5th grade gets my dry sense of humor, and appreciates my lame jokes, too!

When did you know you wanted to become a teacher?
In 3rd grade, when Mrs. Gilliland was my teacher and I realized I never wanted to stop going to school.

What is your favorite lesson/unit to teach?
Matter is so much fun to teach! Lots of experiments, cool reactions, and homemade root beer!

What is your greatest challenge in teaching?
Overcoming poverty and trauma in children to realize academic growth. Sometimes they make great gains in reading and math, but I wasn’t able to help them at all in their personal life. Sometimes it’s the other way around. I want to be able to always to do both.

If you could have a career other than a teacher, what would it be?
I would be the pet petter at a veterinary clinic—the one who pets the animals to help calm them, holds them while their owner does paperwork, and doesn’t clean up messes!

What’s something your students probably don’t know about you?
My bedroom is a disaster area! Everything that doesn’t have a home goes there, and baskets of laundry stay there until I get a spare minute to fold!

If a student were to remember something about your class 50 years from now, what do you hope it would be?
It’s up to them to make the world better.

What are your three favorite books?
1. A Wrinkle in Time
2. The Book Thief
3. Little Men

Which do you prefer:

pen or pencil

tea or coffee

morning or afternoon

packed lunch or hot lunch

dentist or faculty meeting

If you would like to be considered for a future Educator Spotlight, send this completed questionnaire and a picture to kellie.noszka@schoolsin.com.

Cassandra Bush Monroe

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Cassandra Bush Monroe

Name: Cassandra Bush Monroe
School: Wake Young Men’s Leadership Academy
City: Raleigh
State: North Carolina
Grade(s): 6th-8th
Subject(s): Career & Technical Education

What quote inspires you?
“You can’t change where you’ve been, but you can change where you are going.” -GBatiste

What is your favorite color and why?
Purple, it is the color of royalty & it makes me happy 🙂

What is your favorite piece of furniture in your classroom?
My desk

How would you describe your teaching style?
Teach as if they know nothing.

When did you know you wanted to become a teacher?
In 6th grade

What is your favorite lesson/unit to teach?
Exploring Careers

What is your greatest challenge in teaching?
Differentiating

If you could have a career other than a teacher, what would it be?
Actress

What’s something your students probably don’t know about you?
What’s something your students probably don’t know about you?
That I grew up on a farm

If a student were to remember something about your class 50 years from now, what do you hope it would be?
That I challenged them to think outside the box.

What are your three favorite books?
1. The Power of a Praying Wife
2. The Notebook
3. Power of a Praying Woman

Which do you prefer:

pen or pencil

tea or coffee

afternoon or morning

hot lunch or packed lunch

dentist or faculty meeting

If you would like to be considered for a future Educator Spotlight, send this completed questionnaire and a picture to kellie.noszka@schoolsin.com.

Amy Manso

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Amy Manso

Name: Amy Manso
School: Le Jardin Academy
City: Kailua
State: Hawaii
Grade(s): 6th-12th
Subject(s): Visual art

What quote inspires you?
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” – Pablo Picasso

What is your favorite color and why?
Burnt Sienna, this warm versatile brown is my go to color with watercolor landscapes and portraits.

What is your favorite piece of furniture in your classroom?
The supply shelves – full of everything you need to make art, open for the students to use and help keep organized (not so easy to do).

How would you describe your teaching style?
I encourage discussions between students, I am dedicated and patient.

When did you know you wanted to become a teacher?
Once given the opportunity to take some art education classes through the advertising agency I was working at, I soon realized that becoming an art teacher would be a very rewarding and inspiring career.

What is your favorite lesson/unit to teach?
I enjoy teaching my Innovative Animal Illustration unit. The inspiration for this unit came from a project I did when I was in HS. The students learn about the power of observing nature, they analyze Da Vinci’s drawing and investigate how many inventions have been inspired by the way nature works. Students learn observational drawing skills and how to create value and texture with pen and ink. Through research they create a mixed up animal illustration that has a specific innovative purpose.

What is your greatest challenge in teaching?
I strongly believe that giving timely feedback to students on assignments and projects is crucial in the development of knowledge and skills. It takes me quite a bit of time to give thorough feedback. Balancing time between teaching, planning, grading and home life is my greatest challenge.

If you could have a career other than a teacher, what would it be?
I would be a children’s book illustrator. This is still on my bucket list, I will have a children’s book published one day, most likely when I retire from teaching.

What’s something your students probably don’t know about you?
They know that I love nature but most likely do not know how much of a hiker/wanderer I am when I am not in the classroom.

If a student were to remember something about your class 50 years from now, what do you hope it would be?
The correct shapes of value equal form and that brainstorming ideas with others is an essential way to develop creatively.

What are your three favorite books?
1. Private Lives of the Impressionists by Sue Roe
2. Ishmael by Daniel Quinn
3. The Anatomy Lesson: A Novel by Nina Siegal

Which do you prefer:

pencil or pen

coffee or tea

afternoon or morning

packed lunch or hot lunch

dentist or faculty meeting

Is there anything else you want to tell us?
I am the mom of two amazing boys. Another bonus of being a teacher is being able to spend the summers hiking, baking, reading and just being with these two kids.

If you would like to be considered for a future Educator Spotlight, send this completed questionnaire and a picture to kellie.noszka@schoolsin.com.

Eileen Alps

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Eileen Alps

Name: Eileen Alps
School: Maternity B.V.M.
City: Chicago
State: Illinois
Grade(s): 4th
Subject(s): All! (reading/ELA, math, science, S.S., religion)

What quote inspires you?
“The days are long, but the years are short.” ~Gretchen Rubin, author
It reminds me that though the longs days may wear me out, the children I’m working with won’t be this little for long. (The “big, bad” eight graders are a testament to that!) We only have this one year together for me to make a positive impact on them.

What is your favorite color and why?
Red because I’ve been told by others that it’s “my color.”

What is your favorite piece of furniture in your classroom?
I love my kidney table and colorful stools. It’s the perfect place to meet with small groups. For the longest time, I was “Macgyver-ing” two strange trapezoidal tables into a place to meet with students.

How would you describe your teaching style?
I am definitely known as a strict teacher, but I love to have fun with my students and inject a lot of humor into my teaching. With a background in science, I also strongly believe in an inquiry-based approach to learning.

When did you know you wanted to become a teacher?
When I was graduated from high school, my mom handed me a manila folder filled with old school work, awards, and report cards. In it, I found an essay from 2nd grade about wanting to become a teacher. Turns out there’s more to it than summers off and red marking pens. Who knew?

What is your favorite lesson/unit to teach?
I have so much fun with our energy unit! We build tracks and race cars to learn about kinetic and potential energy. Students are SO engaged and take real ownership in their learning.

What is your greatest challenge in teaching?
Differentiating has always been a real challenge for me. Meeting the needs of all learners, from those who struggle to those exceeding standards (and everyone in between), has sometimes proved difficult for me.

If you could have a career other than a teacher, what would it be?
I think I might consider becoming a speech pathologist so that I could still work with students and help them grow to their fullest potential (excuse the cliché).

What’s something your students probably don’t know about you?
These guys ask A LOT of questions, and I’m so open with them, there’s not a lot they don’t know. I think many of them would be surprised to learn of the genuine love I feel for them.

If a student were to remember something about your class 50 years from now, what do you hope it would be?
Surprisingly, it’s not how to solve for an unknown or how to write a good persuasive hook, but rather that I was so hard on them because I believed in them so fully.

What are your three favorite books?
1. To Kill a Mockingbird
2. The Great Gatsby
3. The Catcher in the Rye

Which do you prefer:

pencil or pen

coffee or tea

morning or afternoon

packed lunch or hot lunch

faculty meeting or dentist (I actually like the dentist!)

Is there anything else you want to tell us?
“My job is fun, and I enjoy it.” ~ (paraphrased from Liz Craft, tv writer and producer)

If you would like to be considered for a future Educator Spotlight, send this completed questionnaire and a picture to kellie.noszka@schoolsin.com.

Lisa Geggie

Lisa geggie
Lisa Geggie

Name: Lisa Geggie
School: Denver Place Elementary
City: Wilmington
State: Ohio
Grade(s): First Grade for 17 years, Math Coach for 2 years, 4th Grade for 2 years
Subject(s): All subjects in first grade, currently teaching 4th grade math

What quote inspires you?
“Mistakes are proof you’re trying!”

What is your favorite color and why?
My favorite color is yellow because it reminds me of the bright sun warming my face in the summer!

What is your favorite piece of furniture in your classroom?
My favorite piece of furniture is anything that helps me organize! Storage and organization keep things running smoothly and saves time when you’re looking for something!

How would you describe your teaching style?
Structured, engaging and challenging!

When did you know you wanted to become a teacher?
I had been a babysitter most of my middle school and high school weekends, so it was just natural to know that I wanted to be able to spend my career working with children! They keep me young!

What is your favorite lesson/unit to teach?
I love to teach geometry and area and perimeter! Those offer so many great real-life examples and uses! Those are the ones the kids love the most, too, usually!

What is your greatest challenge in teaching?
LONG DIVISION! Well, that and things that are out of my control, like home-life situations, politics, and the like.

If you could have a career other than a teacher, what would it be?
Millionaire! I could definitely see myself living the life of a millionaire!

What’s something your students probably don’t know about you?
I was the mascot for my college! I was Bowling Green State University’s mascot, Frieda Falcon! It was an amazing experience!

If a student were to remember something about your class 50 years from now, what do you hope it would be?
I want them to remember that I cared about them. I care about them as a person and a member of our community and lives. They are more than just a test score. They will always be a Geggie Kid!

What are your three favorite books?
1. Where the Wild Things Are
2. Any book by Jodi Piccoult
3. Any book that I can read while sitting the sun sipping an iced tea!

Which do you prefer:

pen or pencil

coffee or tea

morning or afternoon

packed lunch or hot lunch

faculty meeting or dentist

If you would like to be considered for a future Educator Spotlight, send this completed questionnaire and a picture to kellie.noszka@schoolsin.com.

Heather Koch

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Heather Koch

Name: Heather Koch
School: St. Ignatius Loyola
City: Cincinnati
State: Ohio
Grade(s): 4th, 6th, 8th
Subject(s): Math, Social Studies and Religion

What quote inspires you?
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

What is your favorite color and why?
My favorite color is orange because it is such a vibrant and happy color.

What is your favorite piece of furniture in your classroom?
My classroom isn’t very fancy when it comes to furniture, but my favorite thing in my classroom is my Apple TV. It allows me to switch back and forth from showing my computer to showing my iPhone. It’s quick and easy and allows the kids to have visuals of what they are expected to do.

How would you describe your teaching style?
When I teach, I feel like a conductor. Frequently my students are working on different tasks. Even when they are all doing the same thing, each student needs something different to be successful, yet the whole class needs to flow together.

When did you know you wanted to become a teacher?
I’ve always known I wanted to be a teacher. I actually don’t remember a time when I wanted to be anything else. My mom was a high school Math teacher and I very much looked up to her and the relationship she had with her students.

What is your favorite lesson/unit to teach?
Civil War

What is your greatest challenge in teaching?
Meeting the needs of all learners, especially in Math.

If you could have a career other than a teacher, what would it be?
Something in athletics – I would love to be involved in the organization/management of a sports team on any level.

What’s something your students probably don’t know about you?
I was a very shy child and didn’t come out of my shell until high school.

If a student were to remember something about your class 50 years from now, what do you hope it would be?
I hope my students remember that I had high expectations for them to be the best they could be.

What are your three favorite books?
1. The Giving Tree
2. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
3. Halloween by Jerry Seinfeld

Which do you prefer:

pencil or pen

tea or coffee

afternoon or morning

hot lunch or packed lunch

faculty meeting or dentist

If you would like to be considered for a future Educator Spotlight, send this completed questionnaire and a picture to kellie.noszka@schoolsin.com.

Sarah Landreth

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Sarah Landreth

Name: Sarah Landreth
School: Southern Maryland Christian Academy
City: White Plains
State: Maryland
Grade(s): Kindergarten – 12th grade
Subject(s): Art

What quote inspires you?
“…And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8b

What is your favorite color and why?
My favorite color is cobalt blue because it’s bright and makes me feel calm and happy.

What is your favorite piece of furniture in your classroom?
Well, I am ever so grateful for the sink in our art room! I can’t imagine having art without a sink!

How would you describe your teaching style?
I would say more direct because I have to present the material and explain how we are going to get whatever art project accomplished. I’m a pretty laid back teacher who tries to demonstrate love and encouragement towards all my students.

When did you know you wanted to become a teacher?
I finally realized that I wanted to be a teacher when I was at a school working as an aide. It was then when I decided to get started on my Master’s of Education to work towards becoming a teacher.

What is your favorite lesson/unit to teach?
I love when we are working with paint, even though it’s more prep for me with materials. The kids love it and have the most fun with it.

What is your greatest challenge in teaching?
One big challenge has been getting the timing right in trying to get everything cleaned up before it’s time for that class to leave. Painting days are extremely busy, especially when I’m working with the younger elementary students.

If you could have a career other than a teacher, what would it be?
School Psychologist

What’s something your students probably don’t know about you?
I can still do a handstand!

If a student were to remember something about your class 50 years from now, what do you hope it would be?
I would hope that they would remember the importance in being a light in this dark world and showing others the love of Christ.

What are your three favorite books?
1. The Bible
2. Wild at Heart by John Eldredge
3. The Life You’ve Always Wanted by John Ortberg

Which do you prefer:

pen or pencil

coffee or tea

afternoon or morning

packed lunch or hot lunch

faculty meeting or dentist

If you would like to be considered for a future Educator Spotlight, send this completed questionnaire and a picture to kellie.noszka@schoolsin.com.

Ben Anderson

Ben Anderson (004)
Ben Anderson

Name: Ben Anderson
School: Chief Kamiakin Elementary
City: Sunnyside
State: Washington
Grade(s): 1st-5th Grade
Subject(s): P.E./Social Skills

What quote inspires you?
“The person you are is the person your children become. Show love and compassion, self-control and discipline; seek knowledge and demonstrate good values.” – John Wooden

What is your favorite color and why?
My favorite color is blue because my favorite sports teams use blue on their uniforms. I love the Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Mariners!

What is your favorite piece of furniture in your classroom?
My favorite furniture in my classroom is my desk. It helps me to stay organized, and it give me a place to read during my lunchtime.

How would you describe your teaching style?
With patience and love of all abilities. My background in Special Education gives me the understanding to provide the best learning environment for each individual child.

When did you know you wanted to become a teacher?
I knew that I wanted to be a teacher when I turned 28 years old. I spent two summers working at Bill Westphal’s Basketball Camp in Prescott, Arizona and decided that teaching and coaching were my passion.

What is your favorite lesson/unit to teach?
My favorite lesson to teach is Basketball. I love teaching students the fundamentals of the game, and to see their growth over several weeks of practicing.

What is your greatest challenge in teaching?
The greatest challenge in teaching is working with students who don’t come to school prepared to learn. Many of my students live in poverty, and education has never been a priority in their homes.

If you could have a career other than a teacher, what would it be?
I would work as a College Basketball Coach if I wasn’t currently teaching.

What’s something your students probably don’t know about you?
I own a signed document by our first President. (George Washington)

If a student were to remember something about your class 50 years from now, what do you hope it would be?
I would hope that they remembered that I cared and loved each of them individually, and that I wanted them to be successful in whatever career they had chosen for themselves. I have taught my children that life is a game. Play it correctly and you’ll win at the game of life, and if you play it wrong, there are consequences for that as well.

What are your three favorite books?
1. The Holy Bible
2. The Wisdom of Wooden
3. The Great Compromise

Which do you prefer:

pencil or pen

coffee or tea

afternoon or morning

packed lunch or hot lunch

faculty meeting or dentist

Is there anything else you want to tell us?
I appreciate companies like SCHOOLSin who have helped educators through giveaways, blogs, and sharing with the educational community through Facebook and Twitter.

If you would like to be considered for a future Educator Spotlight, send this completed questionnaire and a picture to kellie.noszka@schoolsin.com.

Paige Bennett

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Paige Bennett

Name: Paige Bennett
School: Gingerbread Academy
City: Cincinnati
State: Ohio
Grade(s): Preschool
Subject(s): Letter recognition, 123s, fine and gross motor skills

What quote inspires you?
“If your actions inspire you to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. ” – John Quincy Adams

What is your favorite color and why?
Blue, because every shade is beautiful

What is your favorite piece of furniture in your classroom?
Sensory table – this is where the students have an opportunity to grow in a very hands-on learning environment.

How would you describe your teaching style?
With patience and love of all abilities. My background in Special Education gives me the understanding to provide the best learning environment for each individual child.

When did you know you wanted to become a teacher?
During my time as a job coach for children with disabilities in college. I provided students with the skills to become more independent in their field of interest.

What is your favorite lesson/unit to teach?
Color recognition

What is your greatest challenge in teaching?
The age. The attention span of a young child limits the amount of time they can sit and listen.

If you could have a career other than a teacher, what would it be?
Something working with individuals with disabilities

What’s something your students probably don’t know about you?
My age

If a student were to remember something about your class 50 years from now, what do you hope it would be?
The joy in learning and how having a loving teacher can impact growth.

What are your three favorite books?
1. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt – Michael Rosen
2. Dee Henderson – O’Malley Family Series
3. The Napping House – Audrey Wood

Which do you prefer:

pencil or pen

tea or coffee

morning or afternoon

packed lunch or hot lunch

faculty meeting or dentist

Is there anything else you want to tell us?
– I love games! Board games, card games…
– I have traveled to 22 states and plan to visit them all.
– My all-time favorite movie is The Sound of Music!

If you would like to be considered for a future Educator Spotlight, send this completed questionnaire and a picture to kellie.noszka@schoolsin.com.

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