Newsela Noteworthy Educator Profiles: Christos Perez

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A typical lesson using Newsela looks like...
 
I use Newsela multiple ways in multiple classes. For my Language Arts, I have them searching for articles to go with their topics for research. They bring the articles in and we discuss them in class. For my lower-level English acquisition students, I assign them leveled pieces from Newsela and they practice their reading before our Socratic Seminars in class. In Literature, I use the different articles to build background knowledge on the topic that we are studying. With each novel, I identify themes as well and pull in the non-fiction reading to connect to real world ideas and concepts, and of course to answer the age-old question, “Why are we reading this novel?” I like to help the kids connect what we do back to themselves and Newsela is a great resource that provides leveled materials so that all of my students can participate.
 
One thing he wish he knew during his first year teaching...
 
It will be okay. If you put yourself out there and align with the right mentors, you will blossom into a great teacher. In addition, professional organizations are a must as is ongoing professional development. Be the student you want your students to be. Further, be willing to explore programs, like Newsela, that can help to bring your teaching to the next level. Innovate, be daring, and listen to the experienced people around you. Take what you can from each person and build your background knowledge.
 
Favorite teaching memory...
 
I had a student that came to our school with no English language abilities whatsoever. I worked with him countless hours to build that vocabulary that would allow him to communicate. Even though I wasn’t sure that he was understanding what I was saying because of the lack of vocabulary, he was able to show me through visual summaries of the text. Four years after I took him under my wing, he is able to communicate, connect, and relate to things I never thought he would have the chance to. He will be going to the college abroad next year and I could not be prouder of the student he has become, and as a result the teacher I became because of him.
 
His favorite thing to do outside of school...
 
Coaching. I love coaching because I get to connect to the kids on a different level. I get to see them not as academics but rather as competitive, driven, individuals. I also love to travel with my wife. Without her love and support, I’m not sure I would be able to accomplish all that I have.
 
 
 

 

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