Teacher Name: Abigail Saul
Office Location: Williamsport, PA
Currently teaching: 8th Grade Language Arts
How do you build relationships with your students? In order to build relationships with my students, I ask questions. A lot of questions. It's one thing that English teachers seem to excel at: when in doubt or in need of more information, ask another question. While on the phone and in LiveLesson, I ask kids if they have any good news, I ask them where they've been, I ask them if they recognize certain pictures, I ask them what they're reading, I ask all kinds of things. Asking leads to answers, which leads to more questions, during which I record key details about them that I want to commit to memory and intend to ask them about later, either one-on-one or in group settings.
How do you engage your students in the learning experience? I engage students in the learning experience by, again, asking questions. I offer multiple ways to respond to questions including poll pods, anonymous Q&A, mic rights, specific skill chat pods (e.g., "Evidence" or "Messages in the Text"), multiple room layouts-sometimes switching 3, 4, or 5 times during a LL to maintain interest, and telling them about myself and my own interests as they pertain to the lesson material.
What is one tip you would offer to a new teacher at CCA? Can you guess my answer to this prompt? Yep, again, to a new teacher, I would say "ask questions". Without a doubt, the best way that I learned how to navigate this cyber school landscape was by asking questions, to everyone who I could think of. I had an amazing mentor-who I still perceive as a mentor-during my first year at CCA and she helped me in innumerable ways. But I didn't stop with her--I asked anyone who might be able to help- including members of my team and PLC, my office colleagues, my principals and office administrator, my Lync contacts, CE staff, anyone who might be able to answer my question. I asked a lot of questions, and I wasn't afraid to learn.
When you’re not working, how do you spend your time? When I'm not working, I find myself "on the go". My husband, son and I enjoy traveling and doing things, visiting with friends and family and simply having fun. On the quieter side, you might find me reading a book on my Kindle (I just finished 'The Miniaturist', which was an incredible, perplexing read), cooking at home with/for the family, or creating family photo books via Shutterfly to remember all of those fun, on-the-go moments.
What might we be surprised to know about you? I have my Advanced Open Water Diver certification and enjoy scuba diving with my husband during the summers in Grand Cayman. Meanwhile, in the winter, I enjoy skiing the East Coast slopes (and occasionally Austrian Alps) with my 4 y.o. and husband.
Thanks for sharing, Abby!