Michael Baum’s presence is a constructive influence at Thaddeus Stevens Elementary School, where he has been instrumental in a positive cultural shift on campus as well as in forging connections with students that inspire their classroom success.
Baum elicits a high level of student engagement in his classroom despite significant obstacles, such as a sizeable concentration of economically disadvantaged students and a student population that is highly transient. He leads multiple learning centers to accommodate different styles of learners and facilitates small group learning for individual needs. He collaborates with other faculty, such as ESL and intervention specialists, to insure that his lessons meet students’ language needs and support the curriculum of other subjects. Baum helps his students to utilize meaningful technology as often as possible, brings science to life with fun, hands-on projects, and designs “virtual field trips” to enrich students’ studies and life experiences. As a result, 82% of Baum’s students met or exceeded their projections on the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment, with 30% performing in the top 20% nationally.
In addition to his success in the classroom, Baum makes a significant impact on his students’ lives outside the classroom. He routinely volunteers to walk students home from school to ensure that they arrive safely, to communicate with parents who may not have access to email or phone service, and to simply talk with students and learn about their lives. Baum is a familiar presence on campus after school hours, coaching basketball, participating in Title I workshops where parents learn more about how to support their children’s educational success, and mentoring student teachers. Baum is recognized throughout the school to be a proactive educator who makes an extra effort to support students and be a positive male role model.
Dec 15, 2014
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