If you walk into the first grade classroom of Angie Sigmon at Shuford Elementary School, you might be surprised to find a child teaching and Sigmon facilitating. This is what one colleague called "True Teaching." When a teacher can trust the students to teach the class, she is creating leaders. And Sigmon believes that there's a leader in every one of her students and it's her job to help them emerge. Expectations are high for every child; even those who come in facing significant learning and behavioral challenges are transformed by the time they leave her. It's evident when you walk into her classroom that something's different. Students are on-task and so intrigued by what they're learning that they often don't want to leave the classroom for recess. At the beginning of the school year, each student is asked to sign a classroom mission statement so they know their purpose. The statement is recited every morning and is routinely referenced. Sigmon creates a family environment in which the students form strong, positive relationships and feel safe to take chances and make mistakes. A strong advocate of technology in the classroom, Sigmon was selected to run a model Blended Learning Classroom. Her students use iPads to solve math problems collaboratively and to address real world issues. When she presented at the North Carolina Technology in Education Society Conference, her students also participated in a showcase demonstrating how technology can be best used in the classroom. Sigmon carefully evaluates individual student data to customize instruction, whether it be whole group, teamwork or individualized teaching. When the 2013-14 school year began, fewer than 50% of students in Sigmon's classroom were at grade level. By the end of the school year, more than 80% of students in her class were performing at or above grade level, and ALL students had made progress.
“New technology, cures for fatal diseases, peace talks—this will all come from those who were once our students. We owe it to our..." (read more)