Mauldin Middle School
1.) Tell us about your role as an educator. What does your typical day look like?
I am a full time teacher in a middle school in Greenville County Schools. My day includes teaching 8th grade mathematics for two class periods and 8th grade science for two class periods. I engage my students by learning about online tools to check for understanding to monitor their progress. I also using coding, STEM activities and robots in the classroom. In my new role in the fall, I will continue to keep students engaged by using a variety of online tools to teach career tech ed.
2.) What’s your education philosophy summed up in one sentence?
The best teaching takes place when a student who experiences a zest for learning from his/her teacher, will become a lifelong learner.
3.) Why did you become an educator?
My 7th grade math teacher had a positive influence on
my learning. I was shy, had speech problems, struggled in math and was intimidated by changing from a small elementary school to a building of 7-12 grades. She helped build my confidence in my ability gave me the confidence I could do the math and it became my favorite subject because of her.
4.) As an SCASCD Emerging Leader, how do you hope to have a greater effect on education in your community and beyond?
I hope being part of Emerging Leaders mentoring, training and community promotes a leadership role from the classroom confused with the first sentenceI believe when educators come together for the purpose to “learn, teach, lead”, we sharpen each other’s skill of teaching . The diversity of experience and educator roles in this unique group will allow me to grow as an educator, so I can share it with my school, district and beyond.
5.) What types of professional development (books, DVDs, webinars, courses) have made a difference in your career?
The professional development that started to change my career was my master’s degree in education and technology and STEM from Valley City State University. It gave me the tools and strategies to interact interact professionally with the students in my classroom. Recently, I have been involved with the DEN (Discovery Educator Network) which is comprised of a unique group of educators from around the world collaborating online through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and DEN. I attended DENSI (Discovery Educator Network Summer Institute) in 2017 & 2018. I gained about 200 professional learning network educator colleagues from around the world in a week long “teacher camp”. They recommend a variety of conferences to attend and/or present;
for example, webinars, trainings (like with Tony Vincent), podcasts to listen to and books to read. They also encourage each other to take additional training, such as becoming Google Certified, Flipgrid trained, and BrainPOP training. Books: “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek; “Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire” by Rafe Esquith; “What Great Teachers Do Differently: 17 Things That Matter Most” by Todd Whitaker.
6.) Was there a pivotal moment when you realized your career choice in education was the correct one? Describe that time.
Students struggle with math, which is why I first became a math teacher. One year, a former 6th grade student visited me during his 10th grade year and said, “Man, Mrs. Schiferl, I should have listened to you and showed my work.” I never forgot that and continue to tell my students to show their work. It is a small thing but there are some habits that are very helpful to my students when they go to high school. I feel I am teaching them good habits for high school and beyond.
7.) If you could make one major change in education, what would it be?
For teaching to be a respected profession. If teaching was respected, then decisions made towards testing, standards, and major changes in the education system would require teacher recommendations.
8.) What is your most rewarding experience as an educator?
When a student’s face lights up
when he/she figures out the problem. Many times I will give them a project to work on but let them struggle; it is priceless when they figure out the solution using problem solving skills. without holding my hand. An example coding in a program called Scratch and they figure out how to make their character (sprite) move.