Ms. Meghan Moore Joseph P. Tynan School Boston, MA
Ms. Meghan Moore has been teaching at the Joseph P. Tynan School for seventeen years. She graduated with a B.A. from Bridgewater State University and then earned a Master’s Degree in Urban Education from Simmons College. Three days after she graduated, she was in the classroom and hasn’t left since. Presently, a first-grade teacher, she has also taught third grade, art, science, and her most inspiring class – a class for 3-year old autistic children. She taught these very young ones sign language, and that became their means of communication – a breakthrough for them and for Ms. Moore.
Ms. Moore had a hard time choosing her favorite children’s book. First, she mentioned Salt in His Shoes by Deloris Jordan and Roslyn Jordan, a book about how Michael Jordan became one of the greatest basketball players of all time by believing in himself and working hard. Then, she remembered her true favorite, Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox: “It is about a little boy who lives next door to a nursing home and loves all the people there. He really likes best a woman with four names just like him. She has no memory, and the little boy helps her find it again by what he thinks a memory is. Super sweet story!”
As a first-grade teacher, Ms. Moore loves to see the growth in her students’ ability to read. During this crucial year, she sees a switch go on, for some children sooner than for others. It is especially gratifying to see that switch go on for students who have been struggling with their reading. Her TutorMate laptop is located in a quiet, cozy corner of the room, and her greeters are dedicated to their job. They get as excited as the students who are tutored when the calls come in. Ms. Moore calls TutorMate a “phenomenal program,” one that “piggy backs on everything they’re doing in class.” She is especially grateful for the one-on-one attention the caring tutors give to their students.
WHAT MAKES THIS CLASSROOM SUCCESSFUL
It takes several steps for a teacher to ensure students have productive tutoring sessions with their tutors. This teacher has shown exceptional achievement in the following areas:
Scheduling: Tutors are evenly scheduled throughout the week, for the most part, two each day, with sessions in the morning. This even scheduling makes the program feel like a regular part of the week for the class .
Student Greeter info: Ms. Moore chose one student who was not at a level appropriate for tutoring, but one who she knew would love being part of the program. Her second greeter is “all personality,” a student who struggles with learning and with self-discipline, but who becomes very focused when she hears the TutorMate phone ringing. Then, she’s “all business.”
Classroom management:Ms. Moore exudes an air of calm omniscience in her class. Students know they can’t get away with anything because she sees everything. She is excellent at engaging all her students in class readings and discussion. Occasionally, she has to quiet a couple of students who are especially loud during their tutoring sessions – they get so caught up in the activities. But the station is in a quiet area of the classroom, so most sessions are uninterrupted by classroom noise.
Frequency of Reading Stage Updates: Ms. Moore understands the importance of keeping the reading levels of her students accurate so that they can benefit from material that challenges them without discouraging them. She mentioned that she is prompted by the tutors’ messages about level, and they remind her to check the levels.
Reading Stage Growth: The reading proficiency of the TutorMate students has grown an average of 4 levels (as of the middle of the year). There should be even more progress by the end of the year.
Teacher Responsiveness: Ms. Moore takes attendance faithfully, and she responds promptly to tutor messages. She is a joy for a Program Ambassador, because of her strong engagement with the program, her enthusiasm, and her recognition of the benefits the program brings to her students.
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