Welcome to another ETalk, where we introduce an amazing person at Elevate K-12 involved in revolutionizing education through high-quality live online instruction inside schools!
Name: Salma M.
Experience With Elevate K-12: 2 years
Expert/Superstar In: Social Studies & English
What excites you most about teaching your particular subject?
Making the subject come to life in a way that students can connect and apply it in some way to their own personal experiences.
What do you like most about live, online instruction?
The ability to connect with students in a unique way that goes beyond the physical classroom. Live online instruction allows all students to individually connect with their teacher and engage in a lesson that is sometimes a challenge to accomplish in the physical class setting. It was rewarding witnessing some of my quiet students personally engage with the lesson through messaging and additional online tools that they typically were shy from doing in a physical class.
Elevate K-12 works with a lot of struggling students. What do you like most about working with those students?
I love the challenge that comes with working with struggling students because oftentimes you help them realize not only how to work through a challenging lesson, but how to find the right tools to problem solve whatever life will throw at them once they leave the classroom. I feel like that is the biggest value a child can embody – is providing them with the skills and tools necessary to assess, interpret and resolve complex matters into simple ones beyond the classroom.
What do you like about working from home/remotely?
What I like about working remotely is the convenience of balancing your personal life, family and work all in one.
Describe your best moment teaching live and online. Be specific!
I have so MANY moments that I enjoyed while teaching live, but my favorite ones are around the times where we share personal stories/experiences and are able to reflect and grow from them. I love to have fun with my students and if there’s room for it, I always jump on that opportunity. One particularly funny moment (and I’ll be specific here!) is when Mrs. Tiffany and I (Mrs. Tiffany is one of the most amazing teachers to work with!) pulled the ultimate prank on our students. We informed them of a big project that involved a 5 page essay, research, poster, and presentation. I drafted all the details of this assignment. We spent time talking about it, answering questions and informed them that its due right after spring break. Our poor kids believed it and their jaws dropped until we broke down the news that it was a prank. It took a lot out of Mrs. Tiffany and I to hold a straight face but the look on their faces after revealing that it was a prank was absolutely priceless! The more human we are in the classroom, the more students will grow from such experiences. Each student walks into the classroom with their own personal struggles on a daily basis; to take a slight pause and bring a smile to their face is what makes it worthwhile.
Tell us a little more about who you are–what do you like to do? What’s your favorite hobby? What’s something super surprising about you? Be creative!
Aside from teaching at Elevate K-12, I am also an instructor at Northwestern University in their CTD program. Education has always been a part of my life (whether I’m teaching, leading or continuing my education) I am currently working on a Masters in Higher Education Administration and Social Policy. I have been blessed to work in both a physical and virtual school setting that has exposed me to unique experiences and tools. I love spending time with family and creating new memories. When I need to unwind, I’m all about weightlifting and going to the gym! Other activities I enjoy are reading (mainly nonfiction and dystopian novels), traveling (when I get the chance), cooking, and designing. Aside from my educational side – I’m big on humor! I love putting a smile on anyone that crosses my path. As one of my favorite quotes says; “Let your smile change the world, not the world change your smile”. I’m very optimistic and the type that will turn any negative encounter into a positive opportunity for growth.
Thanks, Salma M.!