Shelby is a 3rd grade teacher and Instructional Technology Specialist at Warren County R3 School District in Missouri. She has been using Discovery Education since 2008, but only became a DEN STAR in February of 2013, thanks to the DEN Team that was at a regional technology conference. She shared “Becoming a DEN STAR has enriched my teaching in that my students have learned that there is a vast world outside of the four walls of the classroom. What I love about using DE with my students is the versatility of the content. There’s video streaming, images, songs, creation tools, and many other ways to use DE. My students have choice in how media is presented to them, and that makes them more engaged in what they are learning. Plus, the SOS Series has been a fantastic tool in my teacher toolkit!”
How do you start your day?
I have my one cup of coffee, watch local news and weather, and text my network of early morning risers.
Why did you become a teacher?
I became a teacher because of that light bulb moment in kids. There’s nothing like seeing something click with students, knowing you were a part of making that moment happen.
What is one of your favorite ways to use Discovery Education?
One of my favorite ways I used DE this past year was having my students who understood fractions well create Board Builders to help other students who needed more assistance with fractions. It was helpful to the kiddos that needed more support because they may have heard fractions explained in a way that better connected with them.
What is a ritual you have in your classroom?
I always shake hands with each of my students every morning before they can enter the classroom. This way, I can gauge how they are feeling and adjust my approach with them on that particular day. If a student is excited about something, they will tell me right away. If a student is upset, I can almost always immediately sense this. By greeting each student and looking them in the eye, they know I care about them not only as a student but as a person, too.
How are you involved in education aside from your role as educator?
What advice do you give to a teacher who is hesitant to use digital media in their classroom?
Take baby steps – choose one thing to focus on. Technology can be overwhelming, even for the advanced user. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
What advice do you have for first year teachers?
Classroom management is key. ‘Nuff said.
What sites do you visit to assist in your teaching practice?
Pinterest, Edmodo, Facebook (as a member of several different education groups), Discovery Education
What other organizations/groups are you a part of?
DEN Leadership Council
What is your most memorable experience with the DEN?
My most memorable experience with the DEN is attending the DEN Summer Institute in Nashville. This was my second DENSI, and my life was already altered by attending my first DENSI in Burlington. But in Nashville I went all out – I talked to so many more people, I became much more involved, and I did much less sleeping! It paid off in spades. My PLN was much richer because of my involvement. You get out of something exactly what you put into it. And that summer my DEN PLN grew to become my DEN Family.
When you’re not working, where are we most likely to find you?
I am always working! Just kidding, sort of. You will most likely find me taking a #napchat, walking one of my dogs, driving my children around the St. Louis metro area, or obsessively checking social media.
What is your favorite kind of donut?
Glazed from our local donut shop, Hometown Bakery.
How can others connect with you?
@tech_shelby, techshelby on Instagram, Shelby Verhine Bailey on Facebook