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October's Featured Teacher: Sara Hughes

Students benefit from her "just don't give them the fish" approach to teaching as her expectation is that students will OWN their OWN learning and strive for success not just wait for the answers.

Sara Hughes
7th Grade Social Studies
Pine Grove Middle School
East Syracuse Minoa Central School District

Congratulations to our October 2015 Featured Teacher Sara Hughes. Sarah is a 7th grade social studies teacher on the STEAM Team at Pine Grove Middle School. She joined the district in 2004.

What are some of the innovative ways that Sara integrates technology into her curriculum?
Sara. Hughes is an exemplary leader in many ways. She thinks big but pays attention to detail in all aspects of her team, department, and school community. Sara provides that same type of leadership with technology integration. She puts the time, energy, and commitment into finding the best tool for the learning goal.  Sara never settles for the tools just because they are comfortable, known, or routine. She is willing to persevere to expand the opportunities for students and keep their learning rigorous and rewarding.  She never hesitates to explore new tools, websites, apps, and strategies. Sara evaluates to see what is working, revises what isn't, and is constantly upping her game. She is a lead learner with ESM's Google Apps for Education pilot and quickly expanded her instruction with new apps, add-ons, and extensions through that platform. Sara integrates iCivics, Thinglink, Socrative, social media for team exchanges (instagram, twitter), Remind, Google Forms, Slides, Docs, Drive, and all aspects of Classroom, Smore, NewsELA, Voki, Quizlet, Brainpop, and Padlet to name a few!   Her team is currently learning Weebly, WeVideo, Easybib, and Instagram (for field trip evidence curation). She collaborates across content areas and throughout the entire school. She is willing to learn, teach, and share so all can benefit. She's not afraid to transition when things are not working on the technical or conceptual level. She is a troubleshooter by nature and is willing to persist to solve problems before giving up. Sara has recently been pursuing EdShelf and Symbaloo as options to curate valuable resources for her department and her team.The sky is the limit for what she will try and ESM is lucky to have her! 

How have students benefited from Sara's technology integration initiatives?
Sara's willingness to integrate technology that is relevant to the learning goal, rigorous for all learners, and engaging for all students is a model for all. She creates a culture that raises the expectations for students, creates an environment of inquiry, and facilitates and supports student achievement. Students benefit from her "just don't give them the fish" approach to teaching as her expectation is that students will OWN their OWN learning and strive for success not just wait for the answers. Sara Hughes is a treat in the world of collaborative teaching.  She is not afraid to lead OR follow someone else's and that creates a positive culture of learning.   

Is This You?
Are you the type of teacher who thinks about technology integration and new ways to enhance instruction, engage students, and make learning fun?  Know someone who fits the profile?  Recommend a "Featured Teacher" so we can recognize and celebrate great work in the area of instructional technology!

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