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Why #WeAchieveTogether: Teacher Leslie Pannella

October 16, 2019 - Employee Excellence

Why #WeAchieveTogether is a weekly blog from our Achievement Schools. It highlights the outstanding work of our staff and the high quality programs that help our students succeed.

Leslie Pannella is a fifth grade English Language Arts (ELA) teacher at Shaw Elementary School.

I wouldn’t teach anywhere else. I can’t see myself at any other school but an Achievement School. There is just something about the purpose you feel when you wake up in the morning, knowing that these students need you here.

Once the students feel that connection to the teachers, then they have more of a buy-in to you and your school, as well as their academics, which then leads to greater motivation.

I get to know my students before they even walk through the door. I already know their data from the last year, whether they were at our school or not, and I share that with them immediately.  We discuss where they were, where we need to go to get them where they need to be, and this is how were going to do it. They get really pumped up about that.

For the first time this year, we made vision boards to get the students to think about what opportunities are out there for them, and it allowed an opportunity to explain to them how to get there. If you want to do these things, you might have to go to college, or you might have to go to a special training school or get a certificate. Just opening their eyes to what’s out there beyond fifth grade, they start to realize that this all ties together for their lives.

Any time we do an assessment, whether it be the iReady test or district assessment, I sit with them one-on-one and explain what they did well, and what they could do to go a step further. Showing students where they are, where they could be and the steps they need to take to get there—like with our goal sheets—really helps them.

I love the kids. I love the families of the kids. It’s very much a community here. You are one of the most important people in their lives, and it means the world to them—that’s huge to me. 

This is Why #WeAchieveTogether.

Do you know a dedicated Achievement Schools leader, teacher, staff or community member who you would like to see featured in Why #WeAchieveTogether? To nominate someone, contact Kendra Oestreich, Communications:

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