Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Tuesday's Teacher Feature: Pam Fisher

This week’s Featured Teacher is Pam Fisher, a current Co-Director and former In-Service/Outreach and Continuity Coordinator for the RRVWP. In the past, Pam has also co-facilitated the Summer Institute. She first attended a Summer Institute in 2003 and was a returning fellow in the 2004 and 2006 Summer Institutes and the 2011 Fall Institute. Not only does Pam currently co-direct RRVWP, but she also facilitates the book club meetings. She teaches both Spanish and English in Grand Forks and strives to promote her love for writing and reading within both of her subjects.

On top of her numerous responsibilities, Pam writes her own poetry and short narratives outside of the classroom. She believes that poetry can be an accessible genre to anyone, which she tries to impart upon both her English and Spanish students. She even assigns her students to read and write poetry so that they can become more comfortable and familiar with the genre.

In addition to writing, Pam reads a variety of genres as well; she says that she reads to learn, understand experiences outside of her own, and enjoy authors’ craft. This is clear from her own reading list, as it is a mix of several fiction and non-fiction genres: Mindset by Carol Dweck, Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain, Foreign Language Teacher's Guide to Active Learning by Deborah Blaz, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, and In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. Aside from her own reading, Pam provides opportunities for her students to experience reading for craft and knowledge through many genres. To encourage reading outside the classroom, she offers her students with Scholastic book order forms to peruse and even lists her own recommendations for books.

Pam is clearly inspiring, through her ability to juggle numerous responsibilities both in the classroom and through RRVWP. However, she stresses that there are so many teachers and students who inspire her to improve her own teaching. In her own words, Pam explains, “I am always energized by the dedicated teachers I meet, but most of all I am inspired by my students, whose commitment and enthusiasm drive me to provide them the best learning situations I can.”

Call for Comments: Who/what inspires you as a teacher?
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