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Marvilyn Lyons is a third grade teacher at Jackson Elementary School.
I absolutely love my job, the students we have at our Achievement Schools and the wonderful support we have at Jackson Elementary School.
The children tug at your heartstrings. You have to build trust with them and in order to build that trust, you have to build those relationships. It takes time, but it’s well worth it in the end.
It’s very exciting to see the changes these kids make. When you see a student come in at a kindergarten level and they move up to a second-grade level, there’s nothing more exciting than that—and you see that excitement on their face. We celebrate that, and we celebrate the successes along the way.
It’s important to build a culture in the classroom, and that starts with building their self-esteem and their confidence—let them know that you truly care, and they can do it. All of my students know that the apostrophe “T” in “CAN’T” is silent in my classroom, therefore you “CAN.” That’s what drives my “Why?” They know that together, we’re going to prove that they CAN.”
I think it’s very important to work on the diverse and unique needs of students. Some children work better on the computer, some of them one-on-one, and a lot of them like working in groups. I sorted my students into tiers based on their i-Ready scores. I have tier one students working on Seesaw projects where I assign text features. My tier two groups, I assign phonics in i-Ready, and my tier three students work on systematic phonics and building words with short vowel “A.” I noticed that since last year, doing that every single day, you start seeing those gains and that achievement gap starts to close.
These children make me want to stay—watching them grow, not just socially but emotionally as well.
This is Why #WeAchieveTogether.
Do you know a dedicated Achievement Schools leader, teacher, staff or community member who you would like to see featured in Why #WeAchieveTogether? To nominate someone, contact Kendra Oestreich, Communications: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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