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Finding My Voice

Representing Clay County has been one of the greatest honors of my career. Within days of receiving this recognition, several people said, "You've got a voice in education now, use it!" I realized I was standing on this platform, speechless. How could I advocate for my students, colleagues, and school district if I didn't have anything to say? This was the beginning of my journey of YES. I knew, to find my voice, I had to march through every door this opportunity opened for me, embracing the growth mindset I try to nurture in each of my students.

When I was asked (volun-told, if you want to get technical) to develop a presentation for the Clay Connected Conference, I recognized an innate connection between my two passions, STEM and Growth Mindset. This is where everything fell into place. Facilitating STEM challenges with kindergarten and first grade students over the last several years illustrated the importance of providing young learners with genuine opportunities to struggle and persevere to build confidence and critical thinking skills.

After developing and sharing a presentation about STEM and Growth Mindset called Minute to STEM it, I was invited to write Using STEM to Create Growth Mindset Opportunities for the Just for Teachers Newsletter published by the Florida Department of Education. Which led me to collaborating on a professional development video with Robin Bossinger, Clay County's Online Learning Specialist.

Commissioner Pam Stewart challenged us to impact student learning beyond the four walls of our own classroom and somewhere along the way, I found my voice, advocated for the implementation of STEM in primary classrooms, and met incredible people that have helped me expand my platform to advocate for student learning.

Being a District Teacher of the Year continues to be a humbling and empowering experience.

Click here to access materials for challenges featured in the video

Learn more about implementing STEM with the following resources!

Click here for the STEM Starter Kit
Click here to Bob for Apples

Check out my TPT store to see even more STEM resources!

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