• Elevate K-12

Instructor of the Month - Luke H.

Welcome to another ETalk, where we introduce an amazing person at Elevate K-12 involved in revolutionizing education through high-quality live online instruction inside schools!

Name: Luke H.

Location: Lincoln, RI

Experience With Elevate K-12: 1 year

Expert/Superstar In: Middle School English Language Arts

What excites you most about teaching your particular subject?

I love to get students excited about reading and opening them up to whole new worlds through the novels we read together in class. Now more than ever, it feels so important to spark the imaginations of students and inspire them to help build a better world for all of us.

How do you make live, online instruction engaging?

The best thing I can do is to come in awake, full of energy, and ready to go. If my students don’t think I’m excited to be ready to learn with them, then how can I expect them to be excited to learn? I consistently do everything I can to make my lessons as interactive as possible, whether that be by calling on students to read or by including more activities that require their participation! Finally, I thank them every day for being present with me, if nothing else, simply to reinforce the idea of shared ownership of their learning!

What strategies do you use to effectively reach your students who are working below grade-level expectations?

For students that seem to be struggling more than others, I try to provide specific feedback for their longer written assignments. Luckily, one of my programs has a weekly support day, which I use to reach out to students that are struggling. This allows me to offer a chance to go through previous lessons in a more individualized and interactive way, going at whatever pace best suits their needs!

What do you like about working from home/remotely?

While I certainly miss sharing a classroom in person with students, I feel a great sense of peace knowing that both my students and I are all staying safe at home from the pandemic as we work together to find new strategies to enhance student learning. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how much I don’t miss commuting or wearing dress shoes!

How do you ensure your students have been successful whether they're learning at home, school, or both?

To ensure that my students are grasping the content, I do everything I can to make myself available to meet during extra review sessions or office hours which, thankfully, are offered by both of the programs I am involved in. I also make a conscious effort to make as many of my students participate in class as I can, whether that is by turning on their microphones to speak, messaging them in the chat, or just inserting extra polls in our lessons to check for their participation and attentiveness.

Describe your best moment teaching live and online. Be specific!

To me, one of the best feelings in the world is seeing a student grow attached to a book that we read together. My 6th-grade classes and I are currently reading Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief, the first novel in the Percy Jackson series (which I still remember greatly enjoying when I was in middle school myself!). So many of my students have told me that my class is their favorite, simply because we get to spend so much time enjoying the novel together! I love being able to share in their excitement and feel as if I am reading the novel all over again for the first time. One of my students grew to love the book so much, that she went and got herself a copy of the novel as an early Christmas present! I’ve allowed her to read ahead of us (as if I could stop her!), on the condition that she withhold spoilers from the rest of the class.

Tell us a little more about who you are--what do you like to do?

In addition to teaching, I greatly enjoy playing the piano; I’ve been playing ever since I was in 3rd grade! With the extra stay-at-home-time during the pandemic, I’ve been working to practice more of my favorite piano pieces, including Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 8, and a great variety of Disney songs!

Thanks, Luke H.

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