Michelle Campbell-Grammer
Whittier Elementary School
Fifth Grade Science

What factors influenced your decision to become a teacher? Identify what you consider to be your greatest contributions to and accomplishments in education. 
I was “born” into the teaching field. I am a fourth-generation teacher. My grandmother went to CMSU when it was a Normal Schools for teachers. I grew up singing my multiplication facts in the car instead of listening to music. I was raised in a family that had a true love of learning. I remember going to school with my mom and thinking that her job was exactly what I wanted to do someday. As soon as I got that chance, I took off running. I loved each day and could not wait to learn/teach more. After having two children, I left teaching to be their full-time teacher and aid. I would volunteer in my own children’s classrooms and offer the enrichment that the teacher sometimes had a hard time getting to. This is where I felt I made the most impact, now being able to design lessons to push students to discover their next success. Coming back into education, I made sure I came into the classroom and established the scaffolding needed so I can continuously offer highly engaging enrichment activities.

Describe a project or initiative that you have led or been involved with that contributed to increasing equity in education and opportunity for students in your school. What was your role in this project and what was the impact? 
This year we had one classroom that was all of our ELL students. I was lost on what to do. I have always had groups with strong leaders, and I felt limited with so many new language learners. After a long talk with our ELL team, I set to make my class the enrichment class it is, for the students that needed remedial help. I refused to drop below grade level or lower my expectations. I just had to figure out how to make sure that I was pushing them without losing them without remediation. I set up my room to work and then asked the ELL team back to my room. They were very please with how the room runs and the amount of learning taking place. Without lower my standards or their grade level, I was able to give an equal playing field to learn. With daily checks of understanding, I am finding that my ELL class is now outperforming many of my students in my other two classes. The confidence they are feeling from their success in science makes me beam with pride daily.