Stephanie Hawkins' second-grade classroom at Lynne Thigpen Elementary in Joliet is a “no-excuses zone.” As such, she expects nothing but the best from everybody—herself included.
Creative in her methods to make learning fun and engaging, Hawkins differentiates instruction, uses cross-classroom flexible grouping for guided reading instruction, illustrates her points with an interactive white board, assigns oral critiques of books and harnesses data to plan future lessons. She is also a master at developing readers, and even her most at-risk students love curling up with a good book.
Not one to base her strategies on the status quo, Hawkins continually raises the bar for achievement—and her kids have the test scores to prove it. Fifty-seven percent of her class was reading below grade level at the first of the year. She slashed that number by 21 percent. Also, 42 percent of Hawkins' boys and girls are reading at a fifth-grade level.
Beyond the classroom, Hawkins is an active and highly regarded member of her grade-level team. She serves on the Professional Learning Community Guiding Coalition, the Response To Intervention Committee, and the Curriculum and Instruction Committee. Current on all educational matters, Hawkins eagerly shares her best practices, welcoming her fellow teachers to ask questions and observe her in action.
Apr 19, 2013