Whether her first-graders are in the classroom or participating from home, Sabrina Morgan of Pearl Lower Elementary School in Pearl, Mississippi, works to ensure that everyone succeeds. One colleague even describes the Mississippi educator as the “most loving, encouraging, creative and involved teacher” she has worked with in 40 years.
Upon entering Morgan's classroom, one message is clear: the individual student matters. She tracks everyone's progress by differentiating instruction, putting students in small groups, and incorporating hands-on activities into her lessons. She uses a chart to monitor words-per-minute reading improvement and rolled out a schoolwide Hooked on Books campaign that motivated students to read 10,000 books in just 3.5 weeks. When ill students are unable to come to class, Morgan uses Skype to bring them in so that they can receive a high-quality educational experience. A strong believer in the role of parents, she holds math nights, helps with family science night, and keeps parents abreast of classroom activities through a weekly newsletter.
Morgan's passion for her craft results in notable gains in student achievement. Classroom score charts for the 2011-12 school year, based on the state assessment, show that 96 percent of her students improved in reading and 100 percent improved in math. The mean difference between their fall and spring scores was +15.67; the mean difference in reading was +12.14.
Beyond the classroom, Morgan is a strong leader at the school, district and community levels. National Board Certified, she is in high-demand on committees and teams across many subjects. Morgan led the Common Core State Standards at her school, helped produce and revise curriculum maps and pacing guides and mentors beginning teachers. She serves as first-grade chair, language arts team chair and math team chair.. She is also an active community volunteer, lending her support to juvenile diabetes awareness and organizing a districtwide canned food drive.
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