Featured Teacher:
Stephanie Morris

February 11th, 2019

 

Glenn Rogers

Each month we share the stories of dynamic educators who are using MasteryConnect in innovative ways to help students be their best! Follow along with our Featured Teacher series and get to know other teachers in the MC community.

Meet Stephanie Morris, she’s been teaching economics, government and history for 15 years! She currently teaches at Eau Claire High School in South Carolina and when she’s not in the classroom, she likes to unwind on the beach! She started teaching because she enjoys staying close to the community she was raised in. Keep reading to learn how she avoids burnout after all of her years in the classroom.


 

What grades have you taught?
6-12

What is your favorite activity outside of the classroom?
Relaxing at a beach

How do you avoid burnout?
Time management and not fretting over the little things. You have to be strict about your boundaries and know that there are only 24 hours in a day.

What keeps you excited about teaching?
When a student who has been struggling, finally gets it.

Why did you start teaching?
It allows me to stay close to the community in which I was raised.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Never send an email while you’re angry.

If you could choose a “walk-on song” to be played every morning, what would it be?
Happy by Pharrell

What is your favorite book on education?
Shine by Edward Hallowell

What advice would you give a first-year teacher?
Hang on, it gets better.

If you weren’t a teacher, what kind of career would you have?
Possibly an economist or working a government job. I’ve also thought about being an entrepreneur in the tech arena.

What has been the most memorable moment in your teaching career so far?
Each first day and each graduation is just as memorable.

What is your favorite quote?
A goal should scare you a little and excite you a lot – Joe Vitale

Tell us one of your goals for this year.
To get back in the right mindset to finish my dissertation.

What is your favorite MC Feature?
Trackers, they give you a snapshot of how well the students learned the standards.

What is one thing you want students to take away when they leave your classroom at the end of the year?
Learning doesn’t have to be hard.

What is your dream vacation?
Seychelles

Anything else you want to add about yourself?
I wasn’t always a fan of MasteryConnect. I looked at it like it was one more thing to do. Now I see the benefit and I don’t know what I would do without it.

 

To better protect the owners of copyrighted materials, we have updated our MasteryConnect Online Terms and Conditions. Please review the updated terms of use to ensure that you are uploading and sharing copyrighted materials in adherence to the MasteryConnect Terms of Use. Setting an accurate privacy setting for each assessment is the best first step.

MasteryConnect makes it easy for teachers to build, upload, and share their assessments with other teachers in the online community. However, we are also committed to protecting the rights of content providers—both companies and educators—who create and sell K-12 lessons and assessments. To protect copyrighted materials, we have multiple privacy settings to limit who can see and use uploaded materials.

Check Your Privacy Settings

When uploading assessments into MasteryConnect, it’s important that you choose the correct privacy setting to prevent protected materials from becoming publically available. Every time you upload an assessment, you’ll be asked to set the level of privacy.

There are four levels of privacy you’ll choose from:

  • Share with the community (recommended)
  • Make this material private to me
  • Make this material private to my school
  • Make this material private to my district

 
Be sure to check the conditions of your protected materials in order to set the accurate privacy level. We also suggest you do a quick review of previously uploaded materials to make sure the privacy level is accurate.

As another layer of defense against copyright infringement, the MasteryConnect team continually monitors the community to update privacy settings when necessary. If we find a copyrighted assessment, we will change it to the “private to me” setting and send a message to notify the user that we have adjusted the privacy level and why.

Help Protect Copyrighted Materials

If you see an assessment that should not be public, you can reach out to the user who uploaded it by either commenting in the box below the assessment or sending the user a private message. We appreciate your help in protecting our online community!

Featured Teacher:
Glenn Rogers

January 8th, 2019

 

Glenn Rogers

Each month we share the stories of dynamic educators who are using MasteryConnect in innovative ways to help students be their best! Follow along with our Featured Teacher series and get to know other teachers in the MC community.

Meet Glenn Rogers, a dedicated math teacher at CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Middle School in Connecticut. His passion for teaching started in 10th grade when he helped his classmates with a math problem. He believes math isn’t about finding the right answer, and strives to help his students realize they can solve problems in many different ways. Keep reading to find out how Glenn avoids burnout and the moment he considers most memorable in his teaching career.


 

How many years have you been teaching?
6

What subjects have you taught?
High School and Middle School Mathematics

What grades have you taught?
7th and 9th – 12th Grade

What is your favorite activity outside of the classroom?
Go on outings with my family. Take long walks with my dog, Loki. Read some of my favorite comic books. Re-watch all of my favorite Superhero films. Play complex board games with friends.

How do you avoid burnout?
Take personal time out of each day for myself to play a favorite game, read one of my son’s favorite books to him, or watch a funny episode of a show on Netflix.

What keeps you excited about teaching?
Watching students grow on daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. To see a student change their mindset to achieve their learning and life goals is remarkable. To be a part of that journey is amazing.

Why did you start teaching?
It began when I showed an example of a problem to my classmates in 10th grade. The experience showed me how much I enjoyed helping other people to comprehend mathematics. It was the starting point of my passion for teaching.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Not every lesson is going to go according to your plan. Take note of your accomplishments, watch for the moments of uncertainty, and reflect and recover when mistakes are made.

If you could choose a “walk-on song” to be played every morning, what would it be?
“Walking On a Dream” by Empire of the Sun

What is your favorite book on education?
Visible Learning For Mathematics by John Hattie, Douglas Fisher, and Nancy Frey

What advice would you give a first-year teacher?
Observe other teachers in your building to gain multiple learning experiences. Don’t be ashamed to ask questions, get help and advice from the people around you. Get to know your students as much as possible; building relationships with students can improve classroom behavior and rapport.

If you weren’t a teacher, what kind of career would you have?
An actuary

What has been the most memorable moment in your teaching career so far?
On my birthday last year, when I returned to my classroom after walking students back up from lunch my students surprised me with a loud “Happy Birthday” song and a few gifts and cards. I was very surprised and thankful.

What is your favorite quote?
“You’re going to make a difference. A lot of times it won’t be huge, it won’t be visible even. But it will matter just the same.” – James Gordon (Batman)

Tell us one of your goals for this year.
To observe more teachers during the day to gain more examples of teaching styles and methods.

What is your favorite MC Feature?
Admin Tab – I really enjoy making new items/questions that I can use on daily and weekly assessments

What is one thing you want students to take away when they leave your classroom at the end of the year?
Mathematics is not always about finding the right answer. It is about seeing how you can solve a problem in different and unique ways.

What is your dream vacation?
Travel to a country that has a mix of history, recreation and relaxation.

 

We know that educators have a lot on their plate at all times. That’s why MC Support Specialists want to help you get the support you need with as little back-and-forth as possible.

Here’s what we did to make submitting a Support Ticket more efficient:

  1. There’s now a section for ‘Additional Information’ that gives you space to include specific information about your issue. You can now include the names of students, teachers, trackers and assessments, so we can address the problem you’re seeing right away.
  2. Support tickets are now shorter than ever, so it takes less time to submit a ticket and less time for us to resolve your issues.
  3. No need for you to pull information about your browser or operating system every time you submit a support ticket anymore—we’ve got you covered! We now automatically include that information to make it easier for you to get the help you need.

Get more information on how to submit a support ticket here.

Have a MasteryConnect question? Visit our Help Center for articles and video tutorials. Or get one-on-one help from one of our Support Specialists by submitting a support ticket here.

Featured Teacher:
Stephen Marks

December 18th, 2018

 

Steven Marks

Each month we share the stories of dynamic educators who are using MasteryConnect in innovative ways to help students be their best! Follow along with our Featured Teacher series and get to know other teachers in the MC community.

Meet Stephen Marks, a dedicated social studies teacher at Evergreen Middle School in Ohio. After teaching for 13 years, Stephen still gets excited about being the leader of his classroom every single day. In the summer when he’s not in the classroom he’s busy watching his favorite team, the Detroit Tigers! Keep reading to find out what book he says all first-year teachers should read and his favorite time-saving MC feature!


 

What is your school and district?
Evergreen Middle School – Evergreen Local Schools

What grades have you taught?
7-8

What is your favorite activity outside of the classroom?
Following the Detroit Tigers all summer long.

How do you avoid burnout?
Daily exercise to reduce stress. Trying new things in the classroom to keep things fresh.

What keeps you excited about teaching?
The challenge of being a servant leader on a daily basis.

Why did you start teaching?
To try and make a small positive impact on students each day.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
“You are the CEO of your classroom”.

If you could choose a “walk-on song” to be played every morning, what would it be?
“Odds Are” by Barenaked Ladies

What is your favorite book on education?
Conscious Classroom Management by Rick Smith.

What advice would you give a first-year teacher?
Read “Conscious Classroom Management” by Rick Smith before the school year starts. Without skills in this area your instructional skills never get a chance to shine.

If you weren’t a teacher, what kind of career would you have?
Lawyer or psychologist.

What has been the most memorable moment in your teaching career so far?
Every time I’ve helped a student surprise themselves in a positive way is memorable.

What is your favorite quote?
The only place where success comes before work is the dictionary.

Tell us one of your goals for this year.
90%+ passage rate on my year end SLO test.

What is your favorite MC Feature?
I really enjoy the instant item analysis. Great time saver!

What is one thing you want students to take away when they leave your classroom at the end of the year?
Improved critical thinking skills.

What is your dream vacation?
All 30 MLB ballparks in one summer.

Anything else you want to add about yourself?
I work with an awesome team of instructional technology resoure teachers!

 

Beginning next week, you will have a new option for organizing and printing progress reports. You will  be able to print alphabetically by grade, making it easier to create, print, and distribute reports.

To organize and print alphabetically by grade within a school, simply select the checkbox on the Create Progress Report page as shown below.

For more information on creating Progress Reports, visit our Help Center article.

 

Last month we announced an exciting new feature—Teacher Item Authoring— and our partner educators are already loving the functionality. This feature gives teachers the tools to create over 50 item types, while building and sharing their own personal item banks. (Missed the announcement? Read it here.)

The launch of Teacher Item Authoring makes it the perfect time to hold professional development dedicated to implementing, improving, and expanding usage of item authoring in your school or district. Our PD experts have a variety of options to deliver hands-on instruction to ensure maximum effectiveness and best practices when creating and managing items.

Our Item Authoring PD Sessions are right for you if…

  • you recently implemented Teacher Item Authoring.
  • you could use support in creating your own district item bank.
  • you would like a more in-depth look at the specific functionalities within Item Authoring, including all the awesome technology-enhanced item types.
  • you feel confident creating items, but would like some guidance from an MC expert on creating quality assessments with your own item bank.

The best part about these interactive PD sessions is the one-on-one time you’ll get with an MC specialist to help you build your item bank.

Interested in scheduling a session? Please contact your Regional Education Consultant for more information—or fill out the form on this page and we’ll call you! And be sure to ask about our limited-time PD specials that are available now through December 21st.


Want Teacher Item Authoring?

If you’re a school and district administrator and you’re interested in activating Teacher Item Authoring, please contact your Regional Education Consultant for more info or call us at 801.736.0258.

Teachers, if you are interested in authoring your own items, let your in-house MasteryConnect administrator know!

Featured Teacher:
Patti Desmarais

November 30th, 2018

 

Nicole

Each month we share the stories of dynamic educators who are using MasteryConnect in innovative ways to help students be their best! Follow along with our Featured Teacher series and get to know other teachers in the MC community.

Meet Patti Desmarais, she has spent her entire teaching career of 34 years at Acton Elementary School in Texas and feels that every year brings a new, exciting challenge. She decided she wanted to be a teacher in 4th grade and has never looked back! Learn more about what keeps her excited about teaching there.


 

What grades have you taught?
Grades 1, 2, 3 and a multi 1-2 looping with them to 2-3

What is your favorite activity outside of the classroom?
Snowshoeing

How do you avoid burnout?
I walk most days and do a workout every morning to start my day.

What keeps you excited about teaching?
Learning new things. A few years ago, I took a Methods Reading course (which I should have taken years ago) and learned so much. Last summer, I took a Methods Math course in response to the very low test scores. It was amazing to see how much things have changed. I am so much more energized and excited about math now. And seeing the faces of my students when they “get it” is priceless!

Why did you start teaching?
I decided to be a teacher when I was in 4th grade and never changed my mind. I guess it was the influence of teachers that I had.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Don’t overthink things. You know your students, trust yourself.

If you could choose a “walk-on song” to be played every morning, what would it be?
I’m not sure. Not very good with the names of songs. I just know that I sing my way to work every morning…alone…in my car…loudly.

What is your favorite book on education?
The text book from my Methods math class. I keep it handy all the time. Of course, it’s at work right now and I don’t have the name of it.

What advice would you give a first-year teacher?
Don’t let people tell you it’s not worth the hard work because you won’t make any money. There is so much rewarding about this work. One former principal put it into perspective, sort of. He told me to hang in there because it was only 180 days a year. Of course, it’s much more than that. It’s hard work, but good work.

If you weren’t a teacher, what kind of career would you have?
I would work in a plant nursery.

What has been the most memorable moment in your teaching career so far?
Looking at my students when everything clicks. And having a former student call me and tell me that she was writing a book because I told her that journaling would help her to keep her feelings in perspective.

Tell us one of your goals for this year.
My biggest goal is to help my students understand math and find a way to help it make sense to them.

What is your favorite MC Feature?
I really like being able to author my own items.

What is one thing you want students to take away when they leave your classroom at the end of the year?
Learning is a lifelong skill. Don’t ever stop – I don’t.

What is your dream vacation?
A warm beach for a week with no laundry to do or house cleaning.

Anything else you want to add about yourself?
I have been at the same school for 34 years now. My sister once asked me how I could do that. I told her that every year I get a new set of students and a new challenge. I love what I do even when I get tired and don’t want to bring it home every night.


Check back often to meet other amazing educators in the MasteryConnect community!

Help Center

 

Start 2019 off right with a PD plan for your teachers and leaders. We are offering exclusive pricing on our Mastery Leadership Institute, Teacher Boot Camp and On-site PD if you purchase before December 21st!

 

#1 Save 20% on The Mastery Leadership Institute

Experience our premier PD that’s guaranteed to transform the data culture in your school or district. When you buy a seat to our January session or our special summer event, you’ll save $700 on the all-inclusive MLI retreat!

Choose from two sessions:

  • San Diego, CA | January 16 – 18, 2019
  • Park City, UT | July 9 – 11, 2019

Learn more about MLI!

 

#2 Early Bird Deals on Summer Boot Camps

Designed for teachers, administrators, and coaches looking to take their instruction to the next level, this intensive two-day workshop focuses on improving every step of the instructional cycle—from breaking down standards to planning meaningful interventions.

Choose the Early Bird Deal that’s right for your team:

  • Early Bird Registration – $800
  • Early Bird Registration with Two Nights Lodging – $1,000

Learn more and reserve your seat!

 

#3 Buy 2 Get 1 Free On-Site PD

Customize a plan of three on-site professional development sessions for the price of two! Whether you want to introduce MasteryConnect to new teachers or promote deeper usage among your team, we can build a plan to meet your specific goals.

Ready to learn more about how you can get this limited-time deal? Call us at (801) 736-0258 to learn more.

 

Nicole

Each month we share the stories of dynamic educators who are using MasteryConnect in innovative ways to help students be their best! Follow along with our Featured Teacher series and get to know other teachers in the MC community.

Meet Katherine Karl Anderson, she currently teaches in Cicero School District in Illinois. As a technology resource teacher, she believes that technology in the classroom provides equal opportunities for students. Although she is cutting edge in the classroom, she still likes to throw it back and listen to a good 90s song every once in a while. Keep reading to find out Katherine’s favorite flashback song, and her go-to book on education!


 

What subjects have you taught?
Technology, Biology, Theater, Elementary Subjects

What grades have you taught?
2nd, 3rd, 7th, 8th, 10th

What is your favorite activity outside of the classroom?
I love to dance… or travel, I can’t decide!

How do you avoid burnout?
I make time for my dog and my husband and reading for fun!

What keeps you excited about teaching?
I remind myself that I am doing this for the kids! Thinking about equitable access for students in my district keeps me going. It is a huge goal but we take it one day at a time.

Why did you start teaching?
I really enjoy students. I love seeing them make connections and be excited about learning. I love the challenge of reaching every student and motivating them to be the best they can be! I also love doing theater with students. Students can grow so much from extra-curricular activities that require dedication but have huge rewards. Even with my little ones, Readers’ Theater became a fun project that allowed them to be so proud of their accomplishment.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Do something you love!

If you could choose a “walk-on song” to be played every morning, what would it be?
Smash Mouth – All Star! “Hey now, you’re an all star…” I was a child of the nineties 🙂

What is your favorite book on education?
Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter by Liz Wiseman. Though it is actually a business book, it has really informed my teaching practice. I love the premise: that allowing people to explore and find what interests them, will actually make them engage more, produce more, and learn and grow more. It really sold me on STEAM and the benefits of project-based learning. Students never forget what they did for science fair!

What advice would you give a first-year teacher?
It will get better and so will you! Ask for help, ask for advice, ask to be observed; never be afraid to grow.

If you weren’t a teacher, what kind of career would you have?
I would want to direct theater or maybe act!

What has been the most memorable moment in your teaching career so far?
My most memorable moment this year was when a 2nd grade boy who wouldn’t take a test on paper, actually thanked me for letting him take a test on a computer through MasteryConnect. And he mastered the content!

What is your favorite quote?
You are your limit!

Tell us one of your goals for this year.
One of my goals this year is to become ISTE certified.

What is your favorite MC Feature?
I love the Compare feature (and not just because it looks cool). I love that it can show a teacher how rigorous their instruction and formative assessments are. Teachers sometimes think content is too hard for students but we cannot challenge them enough! They will rise to our expectations.

What is one thing you want students to take away when they leave your classroom at the end of the year?
Since I am a technology resource teacher, I will tell you a wish for the teachers I work with- I want them to not be afraid of technology. I want them to see how technology is the way that we can provide equal opportunities for our students. I want them to know that they can’t “break it”!

What is your dream vacation?
My dream vacation is a safari, which I got to experience for my honeymoon two years ago. I would go again!

Anything else you want to add about yourself?
I work with an awesome team of instructional technology resource teachers!


A big thanks to our Featured Teachers! Visit our blog regularly to meet other rockstars in the MasteryConnect community.