Get to know Cynthia Beasley
Introducing Edulastic Innovator Spotlight member Cynthia Beasley! Cynthia is a 7th-12th Grade Math Teacher in Waukegan, IL. An educator of 13 years, Cynthia has been a member of the Edulastic community for 2 years. Read on to hear Cynthia’s Edulastic tips and tricks!
Why did you become a teacher?
I graduated from college with an obscure degree and no paying job prospects. In order to pay for student loans, I got a job as a Teacher’s Assistant in a self-contained classroom for students with emotional disabilities. From September to October I worked very closely with three students in a reading small group. In late October, one of my students went through his complete re-evaluation. From the end of the previous school year until then, my student had improved 2 grade levels in reading. Just those few short months working with him, was enough to change his special education classification and get me hooked on becoming an educator. Four months later I was offered a job as a Teacher, and I haven’t looked back since.
What motivates you as a teacher?
One of the biggest motivators for me in the classroom is seeing the “A-Ha moment” when students finally understand a concept after struggling with trying to grasp it previously.
What is your Edulastic story?
Two years ago, I was hired as a Maternity substitute. While learning the ropes from the person I was going to fill in for – she mentioned the Edulastic program, but did not go into much detail about what it could or could not do. Then, last year during professional development, my principal mentioned that he uses Edulastic for his math class and their assessments.
Describe your Edulastic “aha” moment.
The 2020-2021 school year was unique because my school was in person the entire year, but also simultaneously virtual. For each class, I had students attend physically but also virtually. I had to broadcast each class via Zoom live. Students who attended physically sometimes could not attend school, so they participated virtually. This made testing and homework difficult, because some would turn it in in class, while others had to turn in virtually. As soon as I saw the email from my principal about Edulastic I knew I had to check it out into greater detail. The next week I created my first Geometry test in Edulastic, watched the students take it, and marveled at the ease of grading it. I was hooked, and started the very next week with giving all assessments in my science and math classes using Edulastic. When I went out on maternity leave, I taught my substitute about the program and she continued offering their assessments using Edulastic. I am already planning on having students begin with Edulastic the first week of school.
How do you use Edulastic?
I plan on using Edulastic for all quizzes, reviews, and tests for all of my content classes. I absolutely love the new update where students can check their answer before moving on to the next question. I can see this being very helpful for the class reviews. I absolutely love using this program for assessments because it takes out the ambiguity of students’ handwriting and the extra time it took to decipher whether the letter they wrote was a “t” or “f”.
What are some tips for teachers who are new to Edulastic?
My biggest tip would be to tell someone new to Edulastic to not be afraid to ask for help. Edulastic is an amazing tool and customizable to teachers needs.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that all students can learn. I believe that it is the job of the teacher to find ways for the students to learn. I believe that if I show respect to my students, they will reciprocate (eventually).
What are your teaching goals this school year?
My goals for the year are to teach to each student and their strengths, and help them reach their “A-ha moment.” I am hopeful to see growth from the students from the beginning of school to the end.
How many schools and states have you taught in?
6 schools and 3 states.
Favorite time of the school year?
Any time that school is in session because I’m surrounded by students eager to learn and amazing colleagues.
Favorite motivational quote?
“If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.” ~ Nora Roberts
Greatest accomplishment in the classroom this past year?
Showing students in Consumer Math that they were, in fact, not bad at math, and could successfully complete math in a variety of real-world scenarios
Favorite school spirit day?
Ranch day / Western theme