I wrote a blog on Saturday about the misconceptions of educators in Oklahoma, so I want you to meet one today.
She’s not only an Oklahoma educator, she’s also a product of Oklahoma education. She’s from a small town in northeastern Oklahoma, and she had a math teacher who cared for and connected with her students. She had a math teacher who made problem solving and learning exciting. She had a math teacher who showed her students she believed in them academically and otherwise.
Guess what? She became a math teacher. She taught advanced students who went to state universities, Ivy Leagues and engineering programs. She also taught Geometry and Algebra II to older students who were anxious about math and who said their math class made them feel stupid. But she cared for and connected with her students. She found innovative and creative ways to make problem solving and learning exciting. She showed them she believed in them academically and otherwise.
This Oklahoma educator gave her students skills and tools to not just solve problems on a homework assignment or study for a test, but to build the necessary foundation for success in life. She taught and was the coordinator of a program that assisted many first generation college goers make that leap into higher education. Long before the pandemic, she was exploring instructional practices that allowed students to watch and rewatch lessons. So during the pandemic, she helped build the instructional capacity of many of her colleagues to effectively reach students through a variety of interactive platforms. She built a feedback loop for students to get their questions answered either in class or outside of class. She did it in a way that removed shame and self-doubt by showing we all have struggles, questions and challenges.
For years now, she has used social media to build a network with math teachers literally around the world. As a result, this teacher from a small town in northeastern Oklahoma, went and shared with other teachers at an international conference. She’s a strong believer in the power of continued learning and improvement, has been a presenter and leader of professional development and is always an innovator or early adopter willing to pilot new initiatives. She’s never complacent. She’s constantly reflecting on how to improve and help students succeed. She even left a district where she was iconic because she felt it was time to make a difference in another place.
Shelli is selfless. She’s compassionate. She’s professional. She has high standards for herself, her students and even her administrators. She could do so many things in life, but the students in her classroom, past, present and future, are blessed to have her serving as an Oklahoma Educator. Thank you Shelli, and thanks to all those out there like her.
Share your own story about an #OklahomaEducator
There are so many doing such great work in our schools. It makes me #PublicSchoolProud
One thought on “Here’s an Oklahoma Educator!”
Yea Shelli!! Loved this and the challenge always to pursue excellence!! Thanks Eric!!