These students are becoming teachers

  • ConVal students Leah Stone, Tracie Dailey and Molly Reed qualified for the Educators Rising national competition after succeeding at the state level. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • ConVal students Leah Stone, Tracie Dailey and Molly Reed qualified for the Educators Rising national competition after succeeding at the state level. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 4/9/2019 2:21:52 PM

Three ConVal Regional High School students and their teacher Sarah Grossi headed to Manchester to compete in the Educators Rising New Hampshire competition on March 15. All three students placed high enough to go to the national competition in Dallas, Texas in June. Senior Leah Stone placed second in the Job Interview category, and juniors Tracie Dailey and Molly Reed placed fourth with their original book in the Pre-K Children’s Literature category.

In 2016 Educators Rising was established as a NH Career and Technical Student Organization which, according to their official website, “provides passionate young people with hands-on teaching experience, sustains their interest in the profession, and helps them cultivate the skills they need to be successful educators.”

The competition Educators Rising hosts is annual and includes ten different categories students can compete in. The top five in each category get to compete in the national competition.

For the job interview category, Stone spent approximately one month preparing for the competition. This category consists of doing a mock job interview and having a resume and cover letter.

“I would do a rough draft of my resume and they [Educators Rising] had a very extensive rubric for the competition so I had to make sure I had everything right,” Stone said. “I had other people look at it and then I practiced the interview and what possible questions they might ask me. It was a pretty long process with a lot of checks over and over.”

One thing that helped Stone stand out from others in her category was that she came prepared with a portfolio with information about her teaching experience. Stone does a program similar to student teaching where she goes to other schools in the area, from Pre-K all the way up to middle school. Stone plans on adding even more to her portfolio to bring to nationals.

“I’ll have my educational philosophy in it, multiple lesson plans from the Monadnock Early Learning Center and Antrim Elementary School, reflections from all my lesson plans and pictures from my classes,” Stone said.

As for Dailey and Reed’s children’s book, they also spent about one month working on it. The book, titled “Farm Animals Take on Hawaii,” is an interactive pre-K children’s book.

“It’s kind of a goofy book,” Reed said. “We made it touch and feel so the kids can be interactive with the book. They can touch the chicken’s feathers or the cow, we used velvet for the spots.”

The way the Pre-K Children’s Literature category was set up was that each competitor had a time slot to read the book aloud to three judges. Dailey and Reed were the first in their category to present. According to Grossi, the competition was composed professionally and was a great experience for the students.

“It was all closed, I couldn’t even go in. It was pretty formal,” Grossi said. “We just wanted to go for the experience, not even necessarily to place. The fact that these three placed and are going to nationals is very exciting.”

This is the first year that Grossi has brought students to the Educators Rising competition, and she plans to continue doing so in the future.

“We’re excited and we’re looking forward to doing it again. We’re already talking about what they’re going to do next year,” Grossi said. “They all did great and the experience was amazing. The feedback that we’ve heard just verbally has been extremely positive for everyone who’s competed.”

While three students are headed to nationals, seven students competed this year. Of the seven students, two are seniors. The other students will have the opportunity to utilize their experience for the competition in the future. The seniors, likewise, will be able to use the experience in their future career.

“All the juniors and sophomores coming up will really have the knowledge of how it goes, what works well and what to expect,” Stone said.

Educators Rising also hosts workshops and events twice per year. Grossi and her students will be attending a workshop called Teacher Palooza on April 14 at Plymouth State University, which they hope will also help them prepare for nationals. Grossi said there have been workshops in the past about differentiation, equity, social justice issues and a variety of topics. Reed said that they tend to gain a lot of knowledge from attending the workshops.

Aside from the workshop, the group will be spending the next couple months preparing for their trip to nationals in other ways. The students present the same work they competed with at the state level competition but can make improvements to it.

“I will hopefully be changing my resume because I will be graduated by then,” Stone said. “I might be able to add and take something from the judges’ feedback. I’ll also be practicing the interview questions.”

Reed and Dailey also said they may make changes to their book based on the judges’ suggestions once they receive those.

Grossi said that despite how the students place at nationals, she thinks it will be a worthwhile experience overall.

“I just want them to network, make friends, gain some experiences, listen to the keynote speakers, attend workshops,” Grossi said. “If they place that’s wonderful. I just think the opportunity is amazing and just to be with other people with the same goals and ambitions.”

At the end of the day, the students think this opportunity will help them in their future endeavors. Stone and Reed both plan on pursuing careers in early elementary education and pre-K. Dailey hopes to work with children in social work, but said that education classes are helpful towards knowing how to work with youth.


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