Get to know Loren Walker
Introducing Edulastic Innovator Spotlight member Loren Walker! Loren is a 6th Grade Science Teacher from Auburndale, FL. Loren has worked as an educator for 9 years, and loves using Edulastic for formal assessments and casual assignments in her science classes. We loved getting to know Loren, and hope you will too!
Why did you become a teacher?
Growing up, I have always wanted to become a teacher. I had many powerful teachers in my K-12 years that inspired me to want to go into the realm of education. Many of those teachers had the ability to change my friend’s life by listening and providing coping mechanisms for her to get through her struggling home life. I watched day after day how teachers made her forget her struggles during the hours of 8 a.m. through 3 p.m. and have fun and just be a kid. They changed her life during the elementary and middle years, so I knew I wanted to be able to do that one day.
What do you love about teaching?
Teaching is a career unlike most others that allows one to directly have an impact on a child’s day, every day. A teacher can make a student smile and believe they can be whatever they want to be through establishing a positive relationship daily. A teacher can also be a second parent to students by loving them and nurturing them during the school hours, which for many students may be the only nurturing they receive that day. The power of a teacher is unmatched, that is why I love teaching.
Why do you love Edulastic?
I stumbled upon Edulastic when I was searching for sample assessments for my Earth/Space Science class. As they say, I “went down the rabbit hole” for hours researching this online platform. The first year, I included a created several Edulastic tests for student use and once I was able to really be knowledgable about how the data is presented after the assessment, I will never use another online platform.
The Edulastic “aha” moment for me was assigning my Progress Monitoring assessment to the students. I had been using Edulastic for my Unit assessments and loved the data it provided, so I decided to implement this testing platform for my Progress Monitoring assessment. The data I am able to pull for my students has easily identified areas of strengths and weaknesses that are used to guide Science instruction. Additionally, in December, the assessment data growth is easily shown through graphs and able to be presented in whole class sections as well as individual sections.
What are your teaching goals this year?
My teaching/learning goals this school year are to create those moments that students may have missed out on in the last two years of education. In teaching Science, many of the hands-on, engaging, and fun assignments have been pushed away. My goal this year is to bring all of those back and to get students to enjoy Science and school again. In addition, my academic goal is to get all students to show growth in 6th Grade Science from August to May.
What are some tips for teachers who are new to Edulastic?
My biggest tip to new Edulastic members is get to know the platform. Research the reports of the data it provides so you are able to get the full potential of this wonderful platform.
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Greatest accomplishment in the classroom this past year?
Getting through it! This past year was something unlike any other. Being able to not only get through it, but still find a way to make it fun and engaging was hard but so worth it.
Favorite type of question in Edulastic?
Classification- I love the majority of the question types as many of them mimic state testing question types.
Coffee or tea?
Kindest compliment you have received from a student?
“You have made a difference in my life Mrs. Walker.”
Favorite time of the school year?
The first day of school. With teaching 6th Grade, students are completely new to a school for the first time since they started preschool. The nerves mixed with the excitement is always so awesome to be a part of.