Rachael is a Elementary Principal and Science Curriculum leader in Jenison Public Schools, Michigan. She has been using Discovery Education for the past four years. She shared “I learned about Discovery when I joined my current district and could not believe how many resources were available. As an instructional leader I use DE to model engaging instructional strategies and help support students and staff. During the summer of 2014 I went to Beijing and taught elementary kids I used DE as my main resource. Watching the ELL students in China come alive seeing the videos and hearing them sing the songs was awesome.”
What is a ritual you have in your classroom?
Every Friday it’s Dance Day, we started it a couple years ago we play music to start our day and student’s dance, we play music at other times during the day and students and staff stop what they are doing and dance. Kids and staff enjoy it, adds some fun into our day.
How are you involved in education other than your official role as a K-12 educator?
I’m active on Social Media with Teach Like a Pirate and Dave Burgess. I attend various edcamps, I am also involved with a nerdy book club group. I connect with the Kids Deserve It group lead by Todd Nelsony.
I’m currently working on writing my Dissertation for my PhD, my coursework is all done I just have to finish my writing for my study.
When you’re not working where are we most likely to find you?
I have two daughters and a wonderful husband and we enjoy family time together. My youngest daughter is on a swim team and my older daughter plays basketball, volleyball, and competes in robotics. I also enjoy running I run with a group most Saturday mornings and we do many charity races.
What is your most memorable experience with the DEN?
The Principal Summit in DC last year, the whole conference was so good. I loved connecting with other passionate administrators from all over North America.
What is one of your favorite ways to use Discovery Education?
My favorite SOS is snowball fight! I use many of the SOS strategies while presenting PD for staff some that I use often are; visual walkabout, twenty five things, AEIOU, six word story, . I also use the benchmark assessments often to view student achievement and student growth.
Why did you become a teacher?
I loved my content area, biology. I thought every kid would love it as much as me as long as I was passionate and used good instructional strategies. I quickly realized to be a good teacher I had to love kids even more than biology.
How do you start your day?
At home reading 15 minutes of reading something in peace then I wake up my girls and the race is on for the day. At school meeting with staff checking in and then daily announcements.
What’s something new that you’ve recently learned?
I just attended our state science conference MSTA and listened to a very interesting presenter who was talking about multiple intelligences. He spoke about how they should be viewed like muscles and learning styles that students are weaker in shouldn’t be ignored we need to provide opportunities for students to learn and grow in all learning styles.
What’s your favorite SOS to use with students?
My “kids” are my teaching staff. To start the year I used a workshop model for our PD six rotations with different activities at each. Each station used a different SOS. Some of the best responses were from using AEIOU on a Ted Talk about school culture and using a six word story in a station focused on movement and engagement.
What are you reading or something on your to-read list?
Just finish Lead for God’s Sake! on my own, I have Michael Fullan Principal waiting for me.
I read with my daughter each night recently we finished Out of My Mind, I am Malala, and are in the middle of Miracles from Heaven
What brings you joy?
My girls, sunshine, funny things kids say, passionate teachers, a good cup of tea:)
What other groups are you a part of?
Michigan Science Teacher’s Association, Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals
How can others connect with you?
Twitter @PostleBrown, on Facebook Rachael Mallison Brown, my school blog is pinewoodblog.com