By the second day of virtual schooling, Cyndi had figured out how to effectively use an entirely new medium to teach Reading/Language Arts (ELAR) to children who were not old enough or tech savvy enough to be able to meaningfully engage online. Cyndi did not lessen her volume of curriculum, which includes grammar, reading comprehension, spelling, writing types and examples. She was even able to teach cursive to second grade students entirely remote! Parents even commented that they would try to listen to her when their children were remote because the parents were able to improve their language art skills, and one of her student’s parents said the following in their nomination:
“Mrs. Sheu’s excitement, passion, motivation, and high expectations have been clear since the first day of school. She has the ability to “see” all the students regardless if it’s the ones in the classroom with her or the ones who are virtual. I applaud her ability to compliment the students and push them beyond their boundaries. I appreciate that she holds the students accountable for their work and is teaching them life lessons, instead of relying on parents to relay assignments.” – Cyndi Sheu, 2nd Grade Teacher for English, Language Arts, and Reading
Despite being in her first year at T. H. Rogers, Cyndi became the role of lead teacher for the grade. From the beginning of the year to the middle of the year, Cyndi had increased students who are reading and writing at or above grade level by 10%.
“Knowing what my students can do, it’s important to push my students beyond what they already know. Asking higher order thinking questions can sometimes be overwhelming or intimidating, but with encouragement and praise my students are made to feel comfortable to answer questions. My students now say, ‘My answer may not be right, but I am going to try.’”
With the Unconventional Thinking in Teaching grant, Cyndi plans to purchase new classroom technology, such as iPads, a subscription for a coding website for her students, and new flexible seating for her classroom.