Thursday, March 2, 2017


Educator Reflects on The Journey:

Maria Reza

Sherwood Elementary School
2nd Grade Teacher

Did your thinking (or perspective) change from your work with The Teachers Guild? How? 
Definitely! Everything is now more student driven. I always understood how exploration and collaboration was a big part of learning, but as I implemented Experiment Day, I saw it first hand with 5th and 2nd graders working together. Their conversations and problem-solving skills were phenomenal. 

How was this example different than ‘normal’ professional development? 
It was almost a personalized professional development. I came up with an idea and my coaches Skyler, Michelle, Diane and The Teachers Guild gave me feedback. I was constantly modifying my idea. 

What one word would you use to describe it and why? 
Transformational! It transformed me as a teacher and as a learner. 

Do you feel like this experience was an example of how SBISD believes in the ‘art of education’ and is investing in educators as professionals? 
Yes, but it was a different type of investment. SBISD has always given teachers the training they needed, but this opportunity was more than that. It was changing my way of teaching from one day to the next. I was able to fully implement what I had created right away. 

Being creative – why is that important for educators and learning? 
I believe it is important because it challenges the way we think. Education has changed so much over the years and the way I taught my first year is very different than the way I am teaching now.

I am a full believer of always thinking outside the box. This kind of risk taking will benefit the students, and in turn, they will also take risks because the teacher is modeling that. 

Why are supports and resources like The Teachers Guild critical for schools, educators, and districts? 
These kinds of supports are critical because it lets the teachers take the lead and lets them explore whatever they feel is right for their students.

The collaboration I had with different teachers from The Guild made me reflect daily, and I was collaborating from teachers in different parts of the country. 

How is this shaping your personal journey? 
It is helping me become a better teacher for my students. My students also see that I am a learner and I continue to challenge myself. This, in turn, is pushing them to do the same.

What other supports you are currently benefiting from? 
Right now I am participating in the Personalized Learning Design Challenge as a Thought Partner. 

Have you seen a positive impact in your classroom (with students) or on grade-level? 
Yes, the students, both 5th and 2nd graders still talk about Experiment Day. They are eager to do more STEM projects. I have also seen my students not giving up when something does not go their way. They problem solve and modify what they are doing until they get the results they want. 

What one thing would you want to take from this experience and share with all educators? 
To give it a shot. Do not be afraid of risk taking! Do not be afraid of thinking outside the box and try new things.

Links of Interest:

Read Maria's spotlight in The Teachers Guild Impact Report >>
Click here to learn more about The Learner's Journey in SBISD >>


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