Instructor of the Month - Patricia M.
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: Patricia Nelly Gonzalez M.
Location: Palatine, IL
Experience With Elevate K-12: 1 year
Expert/Superstar In: I have taught 6th grade Math and 1st grade Bilingual ELA and Math. My current assignment is Spanish K-8.
What excites you most about teaching your particular subject?
What excites me most about teaching is having the opportunity to help students understand the content and feel successful in that subject area.
How do you make live, online instruction engaging?
First, I learn about my students and their interests through direct questioning and listening to their comments and answers. Then, based on their age and grade level, and considering their interests, I adjust the lessons and my instruction to make them relevant for the students. Finally, I try my best to have all students participate in class in roles they feel comfortable with. I believe our instruction should reflect our students' real life/world to be respectful and engaging.
What strategies do you use to effectively reach your students who are working below grade-level expectations?
The first step I take is to do some informal assessments to find out why they are performing below grade level and figure out if it is a basic needs issue, a social/emotional one, or an academic need or disability. This information is paramount if we want to find a way to help these students succeed. Based on this information, I tailor my lessons and activities so these students can fully participate, and make them feel successful. If possible, I try to find available resources to provide extra support for these students whether it be at school or at home. I also conduct frequent assessments and/or evaluations to see how they are progressing so I can adjust my instruction accordingly. What matters the most is to help students feel successful so they also feel motivated. When a student feels successful, they usually become more engaged and is further able to quickly close their learning gap.
What do you like about working from home/remotely?
As a retired teacher/administrator, I enjoy supporting students in different geographical areas with rich and rigorous educational experiences while addressing their cultural and linguistic needs regardless of distance and current restrictions. At the same time, having the opportunity to work remotely from home gives me the freedom to do it anywhere I am at the time of my sessions.
How do you ensure your students have been successful whether they're learning at home, school, or both?
I ensure that my students have been successful wherever they are learning by performing frequent formative assessments. This is achieved by inquiring directly from students. Additionally, their acquisition of new content is further verified by having students present to their classmates their understanding of the lesson's content or their own experiences related to the topic. I observe students' attitudes and responses toward the content and look for teachable moments to either reinforce learning or to expand it.
Describe your best moment teaching live and online. Be specific!
One of my best moments so far was when I was teaching 6th-grade Math this past May; I noticed that one particular student was not participating at all. I used the Private Chat feature in the Elevate platform to ask him how he was doing and what he did over the weekend. He shared a personal experience (his niece was born overnight and he had been awoken by his mom to share the experience!) and, I responded by sharing my own personal experience. Following that moment, he was an active participant in class!
Tell us a little more about who you are--what do you like to do?
My favorite activities are reading, watching sports, and listening to music. My favorite hobby is collecting tiny rocks and shells. I guess something super surprising about me is the fact that I was once married to a relative of Pancho Villa!
Thanks, Patricia Nelly Gonzalez M.!
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