Elizabeth Godwin is a 4th grade Language Arts and Science teacher at Nash Rocky Mount in North Carolina. She has been using Discovery Education since her first year teaching, six years ago. She shared “In the beginning, I only knew how to search for a video or an image. My how that has changed! This year I signed up for the free trial of Science Techbook, which was fantastic! I was so impressed by the amount of resources available for teachers and students in the Science Techbook. I believe that the Science Techbook has made the greatest impact of my teaching and my students learning. I was able to spend time building my background knowledge on specific science concepts through the use of the Science Techbook lesson plans. I felt prepared and confident when I taught due to the Science Techbook lesson plans. Because I was confident and knowledgeable on the topic, my students were able to build their knowledge and understanding.”
How do you start your day?
I am an early bird! I love to get up early and get my day started. During the school year, I like to start my day getting ready for work. I love to listen to music while I get ready and on the way to work. I always try and call my mom on the way to work as well.
Why did you become a teacher?
I became a teacher because I wanted to make a difference in the lives of young children and in the lives of my colleagues. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but that it was going to be challenging and rewarding. I love that when I go to school each day I know that it is going to be different than the day before.
What is one of your favorite ways to use Discovery Education?
I am proud to be a teacher in a 1:1 school district. Each student in my classroom had a personal iPad this year! As a teacher, I spent a great deal of time researching how I could effectively utilize the iPads in my classroom. One of my favorite resources that I found was the Discovery Education Board Builder. Specifically, for our science unit on the Physical Properties of Minerals, I was able to create a Board complete with videos, images, and other forms of media for my students to access on their iPads. The students loved it! Additionally, the students were able to access the Board from home to review for assessments. It is my hope that I can have my students create their own Boards next year!
What is a ritual you have in your classroom?
One of my favorite rituals that I have been doing for years with my students is Brain Breaks. I believe that frequent Brain Breaks help my students stay focused on classroom instruction. I use Brain Breaks before, during, and after instruction. Often, my students beg for a Brain Break! I love to see my students energized and excited in the classroom setting, and Brain Breaks help me do that. The best Brain Break site that I have stumbled upon is Go Noodle! My students love to POP – SE – KO!
How are you involved in education aside from your role as educator?
I am so thankful that I have had the opportunity to mentor two student teachers in the past two years. I believe that mentoring is the most positive and meaningful way to assist in their growth as a beginning teacher.
What advice do you give to a teacher who is hesitant to use digital media in their classroom?
It is very important to use the digital media on your own FIRST. It is important to be familiar with the “ins and outs” of the digital media or tool. Also, only try one at a time! I believe it is important to master one digital media resource or tool at time. Remember, you can’t do it all!
What advice do you have for first year teachers?
I heard this advice myself and didn’t listen, but, I recommend keeping a journal. Each day, record something in it, whether it be the peak and pit of your day, something a student said to you, or an instructional strategy that you would do again. Also, take time for yourself. It is hard to do, and as I look forward to beginning my seventh year teaching, even I don’t do that enough!
What sites do you visit to assist in your teaching practice?
I enjoy learning from others and their wonderful ideas on Teachers Pay Teachers and Pinterest. One of my favorite social media sites for teaching ideas and inspiration is Instagram! I love seeing just a quick snapshot of an instructional idea or a classroom organization tool.
When you’re not working, where are we most likely to find you?
First you may find me in my home office creating materials and decorations for my classroom. You may also find me on the treadmill at the gym, on the back porch relaxing with my husband, in the kitchen trying a new recipe, or on the beach soaking up the sun.
What is your favorite kind of donut?
Maple Icing with Bacon
How can others connect with you?
Edmodo: Mrs. Elizabeth Godwin