Erin Hodges is maximizing the potential for each of her English/Language Arts students at Douglas MacArthur Junior High School in Jonesboro, Arkansas. She uses engaging teaching methods, prepares her students well for the rigor of the Common Core State Standards, and tailors her instruction to her students’ varying needs.
In Hodges’ classroom, students sit around tables to facilitate collaborative learning. Lessons are data-driven and formative assessments are administered along the way to determine student progress. A strong believer in project-based learning, Hodges led seventh grade teachers to develop a multidisciplinary project for the entire grade using Buck Institute of Education guidelines. The assignment was about travel, incorporating subjects from English to math to Fine Arts and more, and allowed students to communicate with others in different states. Hodges also conducts mini lessons and uses technology to enhance her instruction. She was one of the first at the school to use a mobile tech lab in her room and as a result of her effort, every student has a Nook e-reader.
Hodges’ pioneering methods are working: In 2011-2012, she saw double-digit gains in her students’ test scores. Proficiency in literacy, as measured by the state’s Augmented Benchmark Assessment, increased from 58 percent in 2008 to 69 percent in 2012.
On the broader scale, through Hodges’ leadership in the school’s English and seventh-grade Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), teachers have gone from isolation to collaboration. A key project involved providing targeted and individualized instruction to struggling students, yielding increases in achievement growth. She also developed a plan to build intervention into the school day, which is used at both Jonesboro high schools.
Hodges is chair of the school’s improvement plan committee and serves on the Jonesboro Faculty and Staff Together (JFAST), a district program that addresses the needs of both the school and the teachers. Additionally, she is a special education co-teacher, a representative to the district, a sponsor of the Out of the Dark program which focuses on preventing drug abuse and addiction, and a co-cheerleading coach.
Feb 21, 2014
Talk Business Arkansas | Feb 21, 2014 | Little Rock, Arkansas
KAIT-TV | ABC | Feb 21, 2014 | Jonesboro, Arkansas
ADE Briefs | Arkansas Dept. of Education | Feb 20, 2014 | Little Rock, Arkansas
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | Feb 20, 2014 | Little Rock, Arkansas
KARK-TV | Feb 20, 2014 | Little Rock, Arkansas
BSE mid-level education (math, science, English, social studies)~MSE educational leadership (k-12)