2016 Teacher Winner
SCHOOL: Starling Elementary School, Gwinnett County Schools
SECOND GRADE TEACHER
As a little girl, the only thing Tisha Williamson ever wanted to be was a teacher. An educator for 20 years, she considers education to be the most important and influential position in our society. She believes to be an effective teacher; one must look beyond the classroom walls. Tisha has had the privilege to mentor Careers in Education students from the local high school and new teachers, served as a staff development facilitator, School Council member, Grade Chair, Student Leadership Club sponsor, GCPS Assessment Leadership Team member, and Starling Elementary’s 2011-2012 Teacher of the Year. Her greatest professional accomplishments come when former students share their successes with her or the way she directly impacted their lives. Having the opportunity to influence the lives of her students is the reason she became an educator.
PROJECT: Primary Parent Academy
The purpose of this project is to create a resource for parents in our school community that will positively impact student achievement in mathematics. The project’s goal is to create a Primary Parent Academy where parents learn Common Core Math concepts with and from students. For parents that are unable to attend the workshops, videos will be created and uploaded to our school’s website for viewing. The videos have the potential to be viewed by all parents and students. Since Georgia changed to Common Core curriculum, the biggest frustration that parents share is the ability to help their child with this “new math.” Many parents have trouble understanding and helping their child with math at home. They are unfamiliar with the methods and strategies to teach the standards, often confusing the student and frustrating the parents. With the help of K-2 teachers, we will collaborate to identify the most difficult math standards for each grade level through the use of 1st and 2nd grade district assessments. We will then look at how those standards grow vertically and how we can bridge an understanding from school to home. The idea of the Primary Parent Academy is for students to be the facilitators and assist their parents with understanding the strategies we use within the classroom. The manipulatives we use in our classroom will be available for students to use. Some of the same manipulatives used by the students will become door prizes parents can win by simply attending the Primary Parent Academy workshop. This project would be a wonderful opportunity to bridge the gap in understanding from school to home and provide parents with strategies and tools they can confidently use.