The fifth-graders that Joel Robins teaches at Deep Creek Elementary are outperforming students all over the state. Across the board, 100% of his students passed the Standards of Learning (SOL) exam. From SOL passing scores of 98% in reading and science, 97% in writing and 90% in math, Robins’ dynamic teaching techniques are giving students the keys to achieving above and beyond their expectations.
Serving as grade-level chair, Robins’ teaching extends to both gifted and special needs students. He is a strong practitioner of differentiated instruction and keeps students engaged using games, hands-on learning and the latest technology. As Robins’ mother was also a teacher, it is no surprise that he welcomes parent involvement on a daily basis in his classroom. It is common to find Robins on campus long after classes have ended. He makes a point to attend students’ games and afterschool activities, and also serves as a high school baseball and girls field hockey coach.
Robins educates the larger community in addition to his young pupils. He made a video for the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) called “Monday Matters” about how to give back to the community. It made such a good impression at Deep Creek that the school shared it with other schools. Administrators were so impressed by Robins’ work that they asked to videotape his classroom as a model of differentiated strategies in a Chesapeake Public Schools staff development video. The video will be used to train other Chesapeake teachers so they can bring Robins’ enthusiasm and results-driven achievement into more classrooms throughout the district.