Emily Howard creates a vibrant classroom community where students build confidence, are engaged and love learning. A third grade teacher at Drew Central Elementary in Monticello, Arkansas, Howard uses a variety of teaching strategies, including sensory tools and open-ended questioning, and is constantly researching new methods to help students learn and grow. Howard uses student data to tailor her instruction and set expectations. Her students show consistent growth in both literacy and mathematics, with the majority ending the year working on grade level.
Howard is known as a trusted resource for fellow educators, supporting and motivating her peers to succeed. She serves on the school’s instructional leadership team, helping to plan and lead weekly professional learning communities. Howard had experience with Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) at her previous building and brought the program to Drew Central Elementary, where it is now entrenched in the school culture. She also introduced the school to Class Dojo, a tool that facilitates parent communication and encourages model behavior. When legislators wanted to see the state’s R.I.S.E. (Reading Initiative for Student Excellence) program in action, they visited Howard’s classroom to observe a literacy lesson. Howard is a trained teacher leader who receives additional mentoring and support through Drew Central’s participation in the Arkansas Rural Educator Network, a partnership with the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching and the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators. Howard mentors new teachers, researches and tests new instructional strategies, and served as a model for peers when the school recently adopted new curricula.
As Drew Central Elementary’s parental facilitator, Howard is a strong advocate for parental involvement in their children’s education. During pandemic-related building closures, Howard went above and beyond to connect with students and families, providing additional support and communicating regularly. She often attends students’ sporting events, piano recitals and dance performances. One measure of the meaningful relationships Howard builds with families: When it’s time for parent-teacher conferences, it’s not unusual for Howard to see 100% participation.
Howard earned a bachelor’s in early childhood education in 2015 from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.
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2016 B.A., P-4 Early Childhood Education, University of Arkansas at Monticello