Welcome to our teacher spotlight room! Here, we'll question our MVP teachers about all of the exceptional work they've been doing to support their students' academic language development with Speak Agent.
5th Grade bilingual science TEacher | stephenville isd, tx
Learn more about Speak Agent's success with bilingual programs in Texas here!
Q: What were you like as a student?
A: As a student, I was always the quiet, rule follower that enjoyed helping her teacher out. Coming from immigrant parents that didn't speak the language, my siblings and I had to learn english at school making me afraid to speak up in class and say something wrong. Thankfully I had amazing teachers that spent the time to help me graduate from the ESL program after 1st grade. I never really struggled academically so school always came easy to me. With math and science being my specialties, I would often help out my fellow classmates in those subjects and I always found such joy when they would finally understand the concept.
Q: What advice do you have for other Speak Agent teachers?
A: Advice I would have for another teacher implementing Speak Agent is to stay consistent with it. Using the program as a bell ringer helped me as I was getting prepared for class and I knew they were working on something educational and not playing games on their tablets. It was also great to use as a "I'm done with my work, now what?" activity. My students always knew this was our routine and the expectation was to complete all the activities for that unit before we got to our unit test.
Q: How has your students' learning been positively impacted by Speak Agent?
A: Working with the bilingual population, having Speak Agent helped them tremendously with their understanding of the science vocabulary. I would use it as a bell ringer every day to help reinforce the vocabulary from the unit we were currently working on. There were always the perfect amount of activities with different methods of learning for them to work through. It also helped with the speaking portion of TELPAS, a state assessment administered to English Learners in the state of Texas. My students were not as afraid to speak up in front of their peers because they were use to the My Voice activity that we would do with each unit.
4th and 5th Grade math & science TEacher | Lee County Schools, Florida
Learn more about Lee County Schools' successful partnership with Speak Agent here!
Q: What is your favorite thing about being a teacher?
A: My favorite thing about teaching is watching my students grow, both academically and emotionally. They start the year as one person and leave differently; they have grown as a student and a person. Knowing that I played a part in those changes, is what makes teaching so gratifying for me.
Q: What is your favorite thing about Speak Agent?
A: My favorite thing about Speak Agent is the level of engagement and excitement it generates in my students. Many of them literally ask me if they can do their lessons, as soon as we transition to Science!
Q: What improvements in student outcomes have you seen since implementing Speak Agent?
A: The biggest improvement in learning outcomes I have seen in my students since implementing Speak Agent is a definite boost in their academic vocabulary. This translates into a better understanding of the concepts because they have a better understanding of the vocabulary. Often I assign the Speak Agent lesson prior to introducing a new science concept. The repeated exposure to the vocabulary greatly increases comprehension of content learning and provides prior knowledge for when we engage in the lesson.