World Teachers Day is one of our favorite days to celebrate the people who give our company purpose. This week we had the opportunity to interview a middle school literacy teacher about her teaching journey.
Thera Lashley teaches in Mountain Home Middle School in Arkansas. Thera comes from a long line of educators spanning over five generations! From an early age she found a love for teaching, and as she grew, that love for teaching began to sound more like a calling.
Thera had an early start in her career. Coming from such an impressive lineage of educators, she was never far from mentors.
“It always seemed fun to be a teacher. I would sit in my stepmother’s classroom and help her with whatever I could”
Some of her most formative years were spent working in a group home with special needs individuals. It was here she saw a role to be filled, not just for those who required special care, but also for struggling learners in need of a little more coaching.
Not long after, Thera began her professional career teaching special education, all the while carrying these lessons from her past experiences and using them to mold her teaching philosophy and identity as an educator.
During her time teaching special ed, she realized there was a need for all students at all levels. Gifted students, special education, and struggling learners all required help reaching success.
“I want to be the person that inspires them to achieve their goals, no matter what they may be.”
Thera has gone on to teach general education, and to continue helping students achieve their dreams. In teaching both special and general education, Thera was able to glean a unique insight into not just how to teach students, but in how students learn best. By marrying these concepts, she has carved out a teaching philosophy that resonates with all students.
“My philosophy is that every student can learn -- no matter what. Especially when given the tools they need to be successful.”
She advocates passionately for offering students the resources they need to receive the best learning experience possible.
“I use technology every day in my classroom. I can push my students where they need it, I can go to lower levels if necessary. Classroom technology has a very prominent role for me and my students.”
One particular student came to mind. A child who had moved around quite a bit enrolled in her 6th grade class. The student was reading on a second grade reading level when they first arrived in Ms. Lashley’s class. Using Classworks’ Individualized Learning Paths, she was able to give the student exactly what he needed to help close his reading gaps.
The result? Subsequent testing showed the student is now within just 35 points of target. That’s an increase of over 2-and-a-half grade levels of growth in one school year.
She attributes this success to Classworks’ unique ability to analyze assessment data and match instruction to each student’s specific needs. Students build confidence without feeling isolated or left behind.
“Technology can open up a world for them without ever leaving the classroom.”
By using classroom technology for enrichment and intervention, teachers like Thera can use the data they collect in order to better prepare their students for years to come.
As much as Thera inspire her students to learn and grow, she feels like they’ve returned the favor tenfold.
“That’s why I’m here; It’s all about them.”
Classworks is proud to stand by such outstanding teachers, and continue to support you in your journeys.