Walk by Paul Campbell's first- and second-grade looped classroom at Chester Valley Elementary in Anchorage and you're likely to hear both teacher and students singing. Campbell, whose calm, positive demeanor keeps his students engaged, uses music to smooth classroom transitions like lining up or changing activities. His young readers also use songbooks to practice literacy skills, belting out favorites like Disney's "Let It Go" with their teacher while reading the lyrics.
Campbell uses a range of effective instructional practices to maximize "bell-to-bell" learning—making every minute count!—in his classroom. The Title I school serves pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. He relies on formative assessment and engagement strategies like No Hands Up Except to Ask a Question and choral response; core instruction through the district's Houghton Mifflin and GoMath! programs; and intervention supports like Read Naturally and Phonics for Reading. Campbell continuously monitors student progress and adjusts as needed, focusing on students' individual needs. The ultimate reward is seeing achievement growth among his students in a short amount of time.
Campbell leads a warm, supportive classroom where students love to learn. A bearskin rug nicknamed "Bernard" covers the floor of the class reading nook; student-led fitness challenges keep learners motivated during afternoon literacy blocks. Campbell's dynamic delivery inspires students to challenge themselves both in class and with extracurricular events like the reading-focused Battle of the Books. Campbell helps students overcome their academic insecurities by pointing out that real mathematicians and scientists ask questions, seek input from others and learn from their mistakes through problem-solving. Campbell also protects his students' emotional safety; when one student was scared after a lockdown drill, Campbell pretended to be a grizzly bear whose mighty roar would scare off any intruders.
A strong communicator and grade-level leader, Campbell serves on Chester Valley's leadership team and helped draft the school's Title I improvement plans. He participated in social-emotional learning (SEL) training, then applied it both in his classroom and as a member of Chester Valley's SEL Leadership Cadre. The group planned and implemented professional development, quarterly student recognition and student SEL work throughout the school. Campbell co-taught "Picturing Anchorage," a social studies class offered to all second-grade teachers in the district throughout the year. During the school's work with the University of Washington's Center for Educational Leadership, administrative teams visited Campbell's classroom to collect data and observe instructional practices, praising his teaching as a standout model. He is a leader at the school for CHAMPS (a classroom management program) and is helping with the transition to the new State Standards.
Campbell is from a family of educators and is a product of Anchorage School District, having graduated from West Anchorage High School. His commitment to the community is reflected in his participation in local events and connection with his students' families. He can be seen at the Fall Festival, Science Night, and Skate Night (both roller-skating and ice skating) and helps with the cross-country ski club, wrestling practice, and managing the school's salmon tank. An avid outdoorsman, Campbell takes his students into the community for orienteering excursions, ice fishing and sled dog races.
Campbell earned a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Washington, in 2010.
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