Some kids thrive from the first moment they set foot in the classroom. But, that wasn’t the case for our Inspirational Elementary Educator, Brittney Campbell. “School didn’t really come naturally to me,” Brittney told us, “…I really had to work for it in order to do well.” Along the way, she had a couple of teachers who went the extra mile to truly connect with her and help her turn the corner in her academics. Those dedicated educators had a huge impact on Brittney—and ultimately inspired her to pursue a career in the classroom so that she could make a similar difference in other young students’ lives.
“I want to help those kids that are struggling. The kids that need a lesson presented a different way, re-teaching, or need an extra push in order to understand the concept,” Brittney stated.
And in her inclusive 2nd grade classroom at Mispillion Elementary in Milford, Delaware, where Brittney is certified to work with regular and special education students, as well as English language learners, she’s able to do just that. Brittney loves the challenge of differentiating instruction to meet all of her students’ unique needs. “It makes every year different,” she explained.
Brittney’s passion for personalizing the learning experience is easy to pick out. “She identifies the strengths and weakness of a student’s academics and works to meet them at their level and grow them beyond what they are expected to accomplish,” her assistant principal told us when nominating Brittney for this award.
To achieve this, small group instruction is a key. Brittney groups her students based on abilities, and rotates them around different learning centers throughout the school day, covering all topic areas. Technology is an important tool she relies on to make this format work. Brittney has several classroom computers as well as a set of learn pads that students utilize daily to access flipped lesson videos Brittney creates as well as targeted practice resources.
When it comes to teaching her students reading and literacy skills, Reading Eggs is central to much of Brittney’s instruction. She uses data from the program to appropriately group her students and drive learning at stations.
“It really helps keep them engaged,” Brittney stated, “It’s something that’s new and exciting and they really enjoy all of the different games.” And more importantly, Reading Eggs helps Brittney’s students practice the specific skills they need, while freeing her up to spend more time providing direct instruction and support. “It helps make a big class size feel a lot smaller, because they’re able to get that more individualized attention,” she said.
Brittney also sees the value of using technology to address the evolving challenges of 21st century teaching and learning. “Kids are learning differently,” she told us, “Statistics say that we’re becoming more visual learners, where we used to be more auditory.” This is a big shift in mindset, and online resources like Reading Eggs are one of the ways Brittney works to offer her students instruction in interactive formats that resonate with them.
So, what’s Brittney’s advice for teachers just starting out? It’s all about understanding yourself and your students. “Different styles work with different teachers and different styles work with different students,” she said. By integrating your own passions while focusing on getting to know your students on an authentic level, Brittney says you can create “…a really inviting learning environment where students feel comfortable and are able to get their academic needs met.”
Please join us as we extend big congratulations to Edmentum’s Inspirational Elementary Educator, Brittney Campbell! Thanks for your outstanding work, Brittney—keep it up!
Want to learn more about Edmentum’s Educator of the Year Award and our other Inspirational Educator honorees? Take a look at this blog post, and keep an eye out for profiles on our other winners in the coming weeks!