The leaves are changing. The semester is well underway. And we’re excited to share with you another one of our TCEA members who is having an incredible impact on education! This month’s member spotlight shines on Lexi Law, an Education and Training teacher at the Wichita Falls ISD Career Education Center. Read on to learn more about Lexi, her work molding the next generation of educators, and her go-to tech tip.
A Teacher and a Leader
Before she became an Education and Training center teacher, Lexi taught fifth-grade science. Now she’s moved up to high school, and instead of inspiring budding scientists, she’s leading the next generation of educators! It would be hard to find someone more qualified to mold future teachers. She recently received her master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Midwestern State University. Beyond that, her list of accomplishments and accolades is long. She is the 2019 Region 9 Elementary Teacher of the Year. She has also previously been named the 2018 Wichita Falls ISD Elementary Teacher of the Year. She won the 2017 Ernest and Sarah Butler Excellence in Elementary Science Teaching Award from Texas Medical Association and was a 2016 and 2018 West Foundation Excellence in Teaching Recipient through Wichita Falls ISD. In addition to her other responsibilities, she is also the head organizer of the Wichita Falls Ed Camp.
Opening Doors for Future Educators
All educators have the unique joy of helping their students realize their future dreams. In Lexi’s case, the students she helps already know their dream–to become teachers themselves. In 2017, Wichita Falls opened a brand new facility, their Career Education Center. The program offers a number of career pathways, but the one Lexi works with is Education and Training. She helps her students really understand what the profession ultimately entails. As Lexi explains, “The most rewarding part about my job is changing the way my students view education and all of its bits and pieces.”
The students in the Education and Training Center aren’t just learning about education, they’re experiencing it. “My students get to spend part of the week on elementary campuses (field site) helping to pull small groups and be a resource to teachers all over the district. I want my students to feel like they are part something awesome and that they are making a difference even if it is just helping students build their fluency with sight words. My hope is to inspire them to be enthusiastic about the education world.”
Celebrating Technology in Education
Part of teaching her students about the world of education involves how technology fits into the equation. Things are changing fast. Already the landscape of education is different from what Lexi’s high school students experienced when they were in elementary school. As Lexi explains, “One thing that shocked my students after entering the elementary classrooms is how well the K-2 students work on Chromebooks.”
Lexi works with her students for two-hour blocks, which allows them to get valuable real-world experience. She shares what really engages her students: “Something I get really excited about is when my students get excited about helping the teachers with technology. When my students are in my classroom, we use technology a lot and I model many different ways teachers can use them to increase engagement in the classroom. In fact, one of our goals is to have all the senior students in my course become certified as a Google Certified Educator Level 1 and Level 2!”
Find Your Tech Mentor
As someone who supports future teachers in working with students and technology, Lexi’s suggestion for finding the best go-to tools and strategies is to harness the incredible knowledge of the community around you. “Technology is forever changing. My biggest technology tip to educators would be to try to be aware of the people who are on your campus that are ‘tech-savvy.’ Once you have located these educators, ask them to show you some of the lessons they do that incorporate technology. Ask them to show you how to set it up. As educators, many of them will take the time to teach you about their technology efforts. After all, they are teachers. I think my ease with technology came from just asking a colleague to show me one of her lessons and, after seeing it in action, I then felt like it was doable and achievable.”
In addition to working with educators in her community, Lexi has also found mentors and resources from TCEA. “[TCEA] is such an amazing resource, professional development, and opportunity for educators to get together and collaborate. I have enjoyed presenting at Chromebook Academy and the TCEA Convention. Both of these events I would highly recommend to educators who are wanting to learn more about technology in the classroom. The entire Professional Development team at TCEA is spectacular. I would highly recommend going to any of their sessions during TCEA events. Shout out to Peggy Reimers (@preimers) and Diana Benner (@diben); they always make educators, including myself, feel like rockstars!”
We hope you enjoyed this spotlight on extraordinary educator Lexi Law. To learn about other innovative educators transforming education, you can read some of our previous member spotlight posts here. Do you know a TCEA member who needs to be in the spotlight? You can always email me your suggestions at [email protected].