Anne Brophy, reading specialist at Flagship Charter Academy, got creative when reading “There is a Bird on Your Head!” by Mo Williams. Brophy could have just read the book, but she asked herself, “What could I do to make it more interesting?” Brophy asked her husband for help, as she believes asking others for help is an important skill, and feels the story was made complete with another person. It was his idea to put their bird on his head, and they are so glad she stayed there!
Brophy has been a reading specialist at Flagship for four years and previously served as a lower elementary classroom teacher for 16 years. What she loves most about being a reading specialist is meeting students in small groups and having the time to target areas of learning that they may have missed in a larger classroom setting. “Our Flagship school community is always thinking of students first and what they need to be successful. We share ideas and strategies. We encourage each other to be our best.”
Brophy doesn’t see this activity as going above and beyond, but instead, sees what she is doing as what is necessary to keep students engaged. Not to mention, students love to see their teachers doing fun things.
By sharing a creative storytime, students are encouraged to act out stories, using their own imagination. “I’m really hoping that this time of ‘shelter in place’ helps our students to become leaders of their own learning – not dependent on what their parent or a teacher tells them to do, but what they want to accomplish and what they need to do to meet their goals,” she said.
During these uncertain times, Brophy has had to think outside the box and reflected on what she has learned from this experience. “I’ve always told my students that we are all students and teachers,” she shared. “There’s always something new to learn and we each have things to share and teach others. I see this experience as a challenge to do better and be better. There are always things I want to learn to improve myself and my teaching.”
Shannon Maquire, dean of lower elementary at Flagship, is so proud to see her teachers go above and beyond for their students. “I have the pleasure of leading a team that consistently goes above and beyond and it is hard for me now, to expect anything less,” she said. “This sense of pride gives me confidence that although teaching and learning looks different, our students will continue to grow and flourish during these unprecedented times.”
Flagship aims to make learning fun for all students. Teachers' daily lessons truly focus on bringing an element of fun to learning for their families. “Many of our teachers are including their families and pets in their videos which increases engagement and connections with Flagship's families,” Maquire said. “During this time, although we are not together, our relationships with our families continue to grow and our culture strengthens.”
From fun videos, to songs, to sharing good news, shout outs for students who are going above and beyond, to making TikTok videos for the students, Flagship teachers are doing an outstanding job making connections with their students.