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Penelope Springmann English Teacher

ABOUT PENNY:

I am a passionate educator who loves exploring the outdoors, spending time with family, fiddling with photography, learning new skills, and tinkering with tech. Currently, I teach Transitional English IV, HS Online English IV, and Virtual English IV at Bentonville High School.

As a teacher, I am invigorated when I learn skills or strategies I can implement in my classroom to build upon the relationship and the education of my students. Four years ago, I returned to teaching after working as a self-taught graphic designer in the digital scrapbooking industry. My drive to continue learning is never-ending. I want to learn and incorporate as much as I can to enhance my students’ learning and engagement. In addition, I enjoy sharing what I learn with other teachers whether it is a piece of new technology or the integration of the arts in the classroom. I truly believe a revolution in education is coming, and I want to be on the innovative front lines challenging my students and myself to be the best.

COLLABORATION, CREATIVITY, & CURIOSITY

Collaboration, creativity, and curiosity are essential for success in the classroom. Whether working with colleagues or students, true collaboration leads to deeper relationships, and as a result, deeper understanding and learning for all. I believe as teachers we improve when we share our passions and knowledge with others. Working together, we can reach every student. We can craft lessons that are engaging and invigorating while offering choice and rigor for students.

STUDENT COLLABORATION

Collaboration is one of the most important skills I want to teach my students as well because it is essential to their future success. As adults, they will spend most of their lives working with others, and I want to know they are prepared to work together toward the mastery of specific skills and goals.

Seniors created, performed, and used Flipgrid to record three-part dramatic monologues of their Common Application essays to ensure they had answered the prompt and had included emotional shifts within their writing.

Likewise, just as students must collaborate, it is also important for me to work with my students. By working in concert with them, I am able to develop stronger relationships and compose lessons of greater value. For example, during research paper writing, I employ a writer's workshop approach. I work with students to provide individualized instruction and feedback for each step of the process which results in stronger papers and deeper learning.

Yes, I lead them, but I also listen and respond to their suggestions. They need to feel invested in the classroom curriculum to truly be engaged, and I value their opinions. With their feedback, I am able to tweak lessons or projects to improve both my performance and their outcomes.

CLASSROOM CULTURE

I want ALL students to feel welcome in my classroom regardless of gender, race, or sexual identity. Life is difficult enough for teenagers, so I work diligently to create a welcoming, nurturing environment. I create a supportive environment through flexible seating, student choice, close listening, collaboration, and humor. A happy class is a hardworking class.

Students are able to choose where they sit provided they are active participants during class.

Let's have class outdoors!

It is nice to take a break from the classroom to take our learning outside.
High School Online English IV students having lunch at The Holler

Cultivating Community

BENTONVILLE READS

This fall, I started the Instagram account Bentonville Reads to create a community of local readers. The purpose of this account is twofold. First, it allows students to share the books they have read with an authentic audience outside of the classroom. Second, the account showcases to the community-at-large that students are active readers who enjoy sharing their #favoritereads with others.

In the long term, I hope to build a thriving network of local readers of all ages who share their love of reading with the world.

CREATIVITY & RISK

Creativity is a must in the classroom. Society is evolving quickly, and I feel the classroom should reflect these changes. Gone are the days of simply memorizing facts: we have Google for that.

Today, I must challenge my students to think critically and to not fear failure. Creativity helps me achieve this because I am able to create lessons that fully employ the students’ individual abilities and challenges them to take risks.

By taking measured risks, students learn to persevere and to try again. I want my students to be able to navigate the world successfully, and by using innovative, challenging assignments in the classroom, my students learn to think creatively and to take risks which I hope will result in long, fulfilling lives.

Student Projects

PODCASTING

ROMEO & JULIET RE-IMAGINED

Click the button above to listen to a student perform a rap he wrote, "Defy the Stars," inspired by Romeo and Juliet.

Paper Quilling

Click the button above to read an essay comparing Romeo and Juliet to foreign affairs in the past and present.

"Big Trouble in Little Verona" is a short story of Romeo and Juliet re-imagined by a freshman.

Shakespearean Monologues

Poetry

TIME FOR CURIOSITY & FUN

At Bentonville High School there are four forty-minute flex periods each week. During this time, I enjoy offering a wide variety of enrichment activities. One of my favorite activities to offer are STEM challenges. My pumpkin chunkin' flex is a student favorite as is the marshmallow challenge. Another fun flex is teaching the prologue to Beowulf in Old English.

CERTIFICATIONS

  • English/Language Arts grades 7-12
  • Middle School English grades 5-8
  • Speech grades 7-12

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • 2019-2020: ARTeacher Fellowship
  • Google Certified Educator Levels 1 & 2
  • PreAP Training
  • Transitional English IV Training

Penelope E. Springmann - pspringmann@gmail.com

Created By
Penny Springmann
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