DEN Community Member of the Week: Sherri Powell

Sherri is a Digital Learning Specialist in Fort Bend ISD, Texas. She works with multiple departments and campuses to facilitate the effective use and integration of technology in instructional programs district wide. She has used Discovery Education since she begin teaching over 15 years ago. She shared “Puzzlemaker was a hit in my class. I thought that I was being the most technical teacher of them all because I knew Puzzlemaker. My students loved the variety of puzzles that I would create. An old style way of gaming I suppose! Since then, I have become so engulfed with everything DE that I take advantage of every training opportunity imaginable to spread the DE love! Teachers love the various uses of DE media as well as the Builder tools. Students love the interactive games, virtual tours and the awesome Boardbuilder tool…no more boring PowerPoints!”

How do you start your day?
I start my day by thanking God for allowing me to see it! Following that, I am usually rushing to get dressed, my daughter fed and off to school and make it to work in time.

Why did you become a teacher?Oceanview
I knew that I was going to become a teacher at the early age of 10. I would find myself looking forward to the end of each school year to help teachers rid their classrooms of unused supplies and worksheets. I would come home with boxes of useful material to keep my five brothers and our friends busy. I loved being called “Miss Powell”. Teaching is who I am. It’s my ministry and God-given talent. I was called to do this. Educating others, reaching the hearts and mind of many has given me great joy and satisfaction. I became a teacher because of my love for people. Helping others to discover and build themselves, both young and old.

What is one of your favorite ways to use Discovery Education?
One of my favorite ways to use DE is to introduce secondary teachers to the many SOS strategies. One of my favorite SOS would be the 3 Truths and a Lie. I like to show teachers that DE is more than just finding a video, showing it, then discussing it with a group of uninterested students. So I show them a video, such as Muscles, Superhuman Strength and include some facts and a lie. I like to take the lesson a step further and show them how to take various segments of the video and implement them along with several truths and lies into a Kahoot. Teachers have tried this strategy along with others that I have shared and have falling in love with the idea that their students are now paying attention to the videos that they show in class.

What is a ritual you have in your classroom?
Although I am not in the classroom anymore, I have a ritual that I have followed since day one….Prayer! My daily prayer and thought is that I am thankful for the day that God has provided and allow me to touch at least one person today and bring a smile to their face. You never know what a teacher or student is going through, so you must focus on not only the task at hand for the day, but also focus on them. Be human, be real!

How are you involved in education aside from your role as educator?
I am a poetry fanatic! I am responsible for coordinating the Fort Bend ISD Secondary Poetry Slam, a district-wide event where 6th-12th graders compete in performance poetry via distance learning.

My favorite girl!What advice do you give to a teacher who is hesitant to use digital media in their classroom?
“Focus on a single technology tools for you and your classroom. Don’t dive into the world of becoming a super tech teacher just because your peers are soaring above and beyond. Use digital media as a learning tool, not as the entire toolkit or one stop shop.”

What advice do you have for first-year teachers?
“Be you, do you! Your first year will either make or break you as a teacher, don’t give up on the students no matter how hard it gets, Remember that someone gave you a chance and you may be the only hope for that individual.”

What sites do you visit to assist in your teaching practice?
Discovery Education of course!
Edmodo
Education World
The Journal
Twitter
Edutopia
Ted Talks
ASCD

What other organizations/groups are you a part of?
Google Certified Educator
Microsoft Office Specialist

What is your most memorable experience with the DEN?
My most memorable experience with the DEN was when I became a part of the Content Development team last year. Since then, I have been able to meet awesome DE leaders and DEN peeps and gain a variety of strategies and valuable resources to add to my trainer toolkit.

When you’re not working, where are we most likely to find you?Love parrots
When I am not working, you would most likely find me at my daughter’s softball game, in a mall, at the gym or daydreaming about my next vacation.

What is your favorite kind of donut?
Plain Cake Donut

How can others connect with you?
@BlessedETS, https://edmodo.com/sherripowell

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