A model of poise and professionalism, James Dickerson incorporates that same paradigm into his second-grade classroom at Cesar E. Chavez Elementary in Las Cruces, NM. Utilizing positive reinforcement to applaud students’ respectful behavior, Dickerson is known for helping even the most academically challenged children reach their highest potential.
Classroom innovations include the “Caught Being Good” program, an adaptation of New Mexico’s Character Counts Program, in which laudable conduct is recorded and rewarded in front of the class at the end of each week. His teaching style is rooted in differentiated instruction, and he uses cooperative learning centers to encourage collaboration and exploration. His efforts to include parents in their children’s education include the “Café” program, in which moms, dads and caregivers are encouraged to join students for lunch at school once a week.
When it comes to student achievement, Dickerson has made significant inroads. His second graders have achieved the highest scores on statewide assessment tests, ranking first in math and reading MAP scores. At the start of one school year, only half of Dickerson’s students were proficient at grade level. Venerated for approaching his work with authority and a well-defined understanding of his role, Dickerson is an effective communicator, teacher, mentor and frequent presenter to peers and others. A second-grade team leader, he also serves on the school leadership committee, was Morale Co-Chair (2008–2009) and helps draft his school’s action plans.
The Daily Reporter | Apr 10, 2011 | Greenfield, NM
KRQE 13 | Nov 07, 2010 | Las Cruces, NM
Las Cruces Sun-Times | Nov 05, 2010 | Las Cruces, NM