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Authentic responses to questions everyone wants answered by a new National Board Certified Teacher. National Board Certified Teacher Tara Smith is a K-3 teacher at Oro Grande Elementary School in the Lake Havasu Unified School District.What is your go-to idea for engaging reluctant learners?TS: Fir

Dec 10, 2015

Authentic responses to questions everyone wants answered by a new National Board Certified Teacher.


National Board Certified Teacher Tara Smith is a K-3 teacher at Oro Grande Elementary School in the Lake Havasu Unified School District.

What is your go-to idea for engaging reluctant learners?

TS: First, I always try humor to break the ice and make the reluctant student smile. Then, I usually conference with the student and provide them with a few teacher-selected choices, allowing them the opportunity to decide what they will do.

What is something parents should do to support their child’s learning?

TS: Parents need to be active participants in their child’s education by asking questions, initiating and continuing two-way communication with their child’s teacher.

Who is the teacher that inspired you?

TS: Mrs. Reanne Reider is the teacher that inspired me.  She taught me the importance of devoting time to build trusting and respectful relationships with your students.

Why do you teach?

TS: I teach so I can assist all students, identifying their personal strengths and learning styles. Then, I help them become comfortable and confident in their own abilities. I hope that as a teacher I can instill a love of learning into all of my students.

What should students get their teacher during the holiday season?

TS: Coffee and hand sanitizer.

What is your favorite educational movie?

TS: My favorite educational movie is Dangerous Minds. This movie showed the importance of building rapport with your students. When students are given the opportunity, tools and respect, they can achieve amazing things.

What is your favorite lesson to teach and why?

TS: I love introducing my students to fractions because I use the book, The Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Fractions Book, written by Jerry Pallotta. With the bribery of chocolate, my students always tend to be fully engaged and excited throughout the entire lesson.

What is one thing you would change to improve teaching and learning in AZ schools?

TS: I wish we could have specials areas, like P.E, music and art, year-round, especially for those students who are not strong academically. This would allow them the opportunities to experience different avenues and find personal strengths.

Apple or pumpkin pie?

TS: Without a doubt, apple pie.

Call to Action: View a list of new and renewed Arizona National Board Certified Teachers. (https://t.e2ma.net/message/iydsfb/qw5a2i)

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