Throughout 2015, our #TeacherHero campaign has been honoring outstanding educators by posting thank you notes from you, our readers. But did you know that we’ve also been promoting many of those same nominees through call-outs in issues of Education Week?
For those who don’t subscribe to EdWeek, we wanted to share one of these call-outs, for reading teacher Robin Shaver, as well as the her inspirational bio. If you like this one, be sure to check out our official Thank a Teacher page for more!
Robin Shaver is a reading teacher at Eau Gallie High School. She teaches a reading course and gives students a second (and sometimes third) chance to pass in order to prepare them for the Florida state exit exam. She often jokes with her students that she “can’t wait to get you out of my class.” Once they pass, her students are ready to take the state exam and graduate.
Robin’s 11th- and 12th-grade students come to her with a variety of reading abilities. Some are strong readers with poor test-taking skills, some work full-time jobs and have limited time for their studies, and some are not native English speakers. As a result, Robin has learned to use a variety of techniques to provide the proper intervention to each of her 25 students. The one common technique she uses is to have them channel their negativity about reading, school, exit exams, or whatever by writing their feelings on a sheet of paper and then shredding them the first day of class. This gesture is Robin’s way of getting her students to have clear focus on building the knowledge and skills needed to pass the exam.
Robin works hard to establish a connection with each of her students. She is dedicated to a positive classroom culture and has a respectful and genuine approach to teaching. She explains, “People don’t care what you know, until they know that you care. You can be a great plumber and not love pipes, sinks, and toilets, but you can’t be a great teacher and not love your students.”
Her approach seems to work. A semester in Robin’s classroom always results in the majority of her at-risk students passing the state exit exam. Although teaching an intervention class is challenging at times, Robin is reinforced by her belief that she can make a difference in students’ lives.
Robin also coaches the girls’ tennis team, sponsors the local Fellowship of Christian Athletes club, and teaches future teachers at a night course through the Florida Institute of Technology.
Read more #TeacherHero stories, and nominate your favorite teacher, at our official Thank a Teacher page.