P. Sloan Joseph
Greer Middle School
1.) Tell us about your role as an educator. What does your typical day look like?
My primary role as the Instructional Technology Coach is to assist classroom teachers in the planning, preparation, and implementation of technology integration. This includes virtual and in-person meetings (individual, full staff, grade level, subject area, PLCs, leadership team), classroom observations, co-teaching and model teaching. In addition to these daily interactions with faculty and staff, I am present in the halls during transitions. This helps me to build rapport with students, while also supporting teachers and administrators with supervising these transitions. I also serve as the school webmaster which requires me to update our school website and social media throughout the day with important information and images of student learning.
2.) What’s your education philosophy summed up in one sentence?
I believe that when students are in safe, engaging, and racially inclusive learning environments, they are able to learn content that will help them positively contribute to their communities.
3.) Why did you become an educator?
I became an educator to assist students in their journey of becoming confident and competent individuals who will positively contribute to their communities.
4.) As an SCASCD Emerging Leader, how do you hope to have a greater effect on education in your community and beyond?
As an SCASCD Emerging Leader, I hope I will have more opportunities to learn and share with educational leaders and educational organizations about the topics of social-emotional learning, effective instructional practices, and racially inclusive learning environments. By having more knowledge and experience in these areas, I hope to be more equipped to inform, inspire, and influence changes at my school, within my district, and when presenting at state and national conferences.
5.) What types of professional development (books, DVDs, webinars, courses) have made a difference in your career?
A few professional development resources that have made a difference in my career are:
Websites: Edutopia, Cult of Pedagogy, Control+Alt+Achieve, ASCD, SCASCD, AMLE, and SCAMLE
Books: Closing the Attitude Gap (Baruti Kafele), Teach Like A Champion (Doug Lemov), The Hack Learning Series
Courses: Obtaining my master’s degree in School Administration and the Trauma-Informed Teaching series with the Greenville County School District (facilitated by TJ Rumler).
Other: Over the past 2-3 years I have participated in Twitter chats which connects me to resources from educators from all over the world.
6.) Was there a pivotal moment when you realized your career choice in education was the correct one? Describe that time.
The pivotal moment that confirmed by choice to become an educator was during my second year of teaching. I had several seniors from my first year of teaching come back to visit me during their Winter Break from college. They shared their appreciation for my support and how much my classes prepared them for success during their first semester in college.
7.) If you could make one major change in education, what would it be?
If I could make one major change in education it would be rewriting curriculum to ensure it is culturally responsive and racially inclusive. School should be a safe space for students. Curriculum that does not reflect diverse cultural experiences has the tendency to perpetuate stereotypes and negatively impact the learning environment (academically, behaviorally, socially, emotionally, etc.)
8.) What is your most rewarding experience as an educator?
My most rewarding experience as an educator has been the long-term relationships I've built with my former students. Over the past seventeen years, many of my students have kept in touch with me and remind me of how I've impacted their lives. Whenever they contact me, it reminds me that my job is to sow seeds, whether I see the "fruit" or not. Some students immediately show progress and others need more time. These students work in various industries throughout the country which is evidence of the impact educators have on the development of our society. My connection to my former students fuels my passion to be the kind of educator that helped me to become who I am today.