Today’s Guest of Honor is Ellen Weber and she is the teacher behind Ellen Weber – Brain based tasks for upper grades TeachersPayTeachers store. Please visit her store and leave her some “love” 😉
Here are Ellen’s answers to my interview:
How long have you been a teacher?
Why did you become a teacher?
I always loved the ideas of idea-gathering with others – and a classroom seemed the best place to make it happen.
Which grades have you taught so far?
Grades 6 to university
What subjects do you rather teach?
I especially enjoy a course I was invited to create for leaders (in graduate school). It’s called LEAD INNOVATION WITH THE BRAIN IN MIND, and everybody does just that for grades. It’s a blast and we have so much fun!
What is your favorite aspect of being a teacher?
I really enjoy watching hidden and unused intelligences come alive in my classes. I like it when everybody’s smarter than me (which is not that hard to achieve) 🙂 I like when we laugh and play our way into quality outcomes. I love mixing cultures – and since I have taught in many countries around the world I learn from each! I like collaborating with other people and watching people who’d given up – come to see their real potential. I LOVE introducing and guiding brain compatible tools to get higher motivation and achievement for all. I like it when students negotiate assessments with me and use tests as learning tools… and so much more. Great question!
Tell us about the teacher that most made an impression on you as a student.
Her name was Sister Liguori and she was brilliant! She gave me $100 and a suitcase when my mother died of cancer. I used both to land my first job. She invested in me – and it worked – I’ve never forgotten her kind generosity.
Tell us a funny/interesting story that happened to you during your career as a teacher.
I stepped into class rather cranky as students were yelling and carrying on during a snowstorm that held me up in traffic.
Rather annoyed I clapped hard and called out, “OK settle down!!” As I spoke my boots slipped out from under me – on melted snow – and I slid under my desk.
Students were aghast at first – until they saw I was OK, and we could all laugh at ourselves again! It took our community building to a funner new place whenever we reminded ourselves of me clapping, getting attention, and quickly disappearing.
What advice would you give a new teacher? (Something that you wish you had known when you first started.)
Be good to you and believe in every student – and the rest will take care of itself. Make a deliberate decision to LIKE every students and let every word from your mouth evidence that committed decision. Go for differences, and value diversity. No student should be held back because another was nudged forward. Love ’em all!
What does your ideal classroom look like?
It’s a university class that welcomes and hangs out with parents. It’s a high school class that forms roundtables like comfortable fireside chats. It’s a place where all speak up and feel heard. It’s a safe place to take a risk, and yet a challenging place to learn from others’ differences. It’s a place where we laugh at ourselves hysterically — and refuse to laugh at others. It’s a place where there are no rules — except those we all agree to and hold ourselves accountable for. It’s a place to be comforted and stoked forward on the same day. It’s a place where all teach and all learn! It’s a bit like a museum of ideas in action and where multiple intelligences become tools for seeing and expressing knowledge through different filters. It’s a place where leaders try out new ideas and all mimic top quality in those who differ most. It’s a place where every controversial topic enjoys opposing views – expressed with respect for those on the other side. It’s a warm place to come in on a chilly day, and a fun place to avoid boredom or drudgery.
What drove you into becoming a Teacher-Author at TeachersPayTeachers?
I was inspired by TPT people like you Catia and I wanted to help give back to a profession that’s been more than good to me over a lifetime! Many values in TPT are those I teach and facilitate in brain based settings. They work! Thanks for being a big part of why that is so!
From all the products in your store, which one is your favorite and why?
I have several that are favorites and they often relate to accessing fun parts of the brain that can go hidden or unused in traditional classes where delivery of facts still reigns.
For instance I have task cards that unpack short stories in ways that allow for students to enjoy far more than answering factual questions at the end of stories.
Click the images below to check Ellen’s product!
Anything else about yourself that you would like us to know?
I also enjoy shaking up myths that hold back learning in the upper grades and college. I love to send students to lectures with task cards to upset convention and move forward with their own brainpower in new ways.
And I enjoy given them tools to disagree without bullying — which they enjoy so much in class.
To play is to catch my attention — so I especially love to toss in a game of grammar baseball or edit one another’s work in ways that offer mutual benefits to students.
It intrigues me that choices we make daily — allow us to become the person we’d like others to see in us. I want every student (or leader I facilitate) to leave my classes knowing that.
As a special treat for our readers, Ellen kindly shared a link to one of her freebies. Make sure you drop by her TpT store to grab the freebie HERE
I hope you enjoyed reading about today’s Guest of Honor! Don’t forget to follow this blog and get to know more of my guests 😉