January 26, 2018

Each month, The Achiever will highlight one of the district’s many Teacher Leaders by focusing on how they are making a difference in the classroom. We’ll learn how they not only help students and their colleagues achieve, but also how they stay focused and effective.

In this week’s Achiever, meet Jessica Schmaltz. The Expanded Impact Teacher, who has been teaching for 10 years, focuses on reading at Clarence Farrington School 61.

What is your “WHY” for being a Teacher Leader?

“I want to inspire other teachers to inspire their students to create a love and joy for learning. Those who thirst for knowledge will never stop learning.”

What are your essential core instructional practices?

“I wholeheartedly believe that students learn best in small groups that are differentiated to meet their needs. We will never close the achievement gap when we do not successfully and effectively implement small groups.”

How are students being engaged in learning?
“I utilize small groups and use a blended learning model. I also am able to implement a co-teaching model, in which the students with greatest needs get a double dose of small group and meet with more than one teacher.”

What are you doing differently this school year to ensure students will meet their learning goals?

“I am spending more time collaborating with my coworkers. We are using flexible grouping and sharing students amongst classes to meet the differentiated needs of students.”

How do you know student are growing?

“I use progress monitoring data to keep track of my students’ growth in their reading levels. My students also take accountability for their success and data.”

How do you keep your saw sharpened? (Something you like to do for fun!)

“I love to cook and bake!”