We are proud to introduce Edulastic Innovator Spotlight member Kashekia Smith! Kashekia is a middle school ELA teacher in Houston, Texas. She uses Edulastic to help her English Language Learners (ELL). Be sure to check out her #EduVictory; it really made us smile. We enjoyed getting to know Kashekia and hope you do too!
Get to know Kashekia Smith
What inspired you to work in education?
What has encouraged me to develop as a teacher is the fact that I can contribute to the students’ process of learning. That is, when I do my best in the classroom and always look for new ways to improve my teaching practices, I’m sure that the students will benefit and learn in a better way. It’s so gratifying when I see that each time (little by little) the students are improving their language skills and they are aware of that.
What do you love about Edulastic? How do you use it in your classroom?
I love that Edulastic provides a variety of questions that test different levels of skills/concepts. I use Edulastic as a pre and post teaching assessment gauge. Additionally, I use Edulastic to optimize peer learning opportunities.
How did you learn about Edulastic? What is your Edulastic story?
I learned about Edulastic by researching various online assessments that could better assist my students progress academically. Student success should be a teacher’s number top priority. For some students, success will be obtaining a good grade. For others, it might mean increased participation in class. In knowing this I was compelled to help my students progress academically, despite some of my students never passing a Reading or Writing exam. These specific students were very discouraged by this and I had no choice, but to ensure that these students were able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. When I stumbled upon Edulastic, I instantly knew it was going to be saving grace!
Please sum up your teaching philosophy in a few sentences:
Teachers must be astute in recognizing target reading groups and shortfalls that exist. This revelation must extend far beyond the occasional parent teacher conferences. Equally, the parent must be educated in understanding that reading deficits will trickle over to creating weaknesses among other subjects. Becoming a resounding voice for reading curriculum changes must become a common place plea for all educators.
Share an #EduVictory from the past year:
As I type this response, I become very emotional. At the start of the 2018/2019 academic year, I was assigned two Co-teach classes. Within in these classes, I had several students that were labeled as Special-Ed. These same students had failed to pass any major assessment prior to entering 7th grade. After working diligently in class and out of class with Edulastic, I had these same students improve assessment scores by more than 35%. To be a teacher that was able to phone home to parents/guardians to share such news was more heartfelt that anyone could ever comprehend.
Favorite Edulastic question type:
Multiple choice and short answer
Favorite lesson to teach:
What subjects do you use Edulastic for?
Reading and Writing
A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
Multicultural club, Sapphire dance team, Why Not Me Mentorship Program, & the Director of Making Connections.
Must have classroom decor:
I try very hard to ensure that my room is relatable to students in both subject areas and personal connections.