Rachael Sprankle is changing lives every day with her teaching degree from Queens. She graduated with a B.A. in Elementary Education in 2009 and is now in her fourth year teaching for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools at Collinswood Language Academy.
Rachael's fourth grade students find her teaching methods a bit unconventional - and they love it.
Student Olivia Valentine says, "She makes everything interesting. It makes learning fun and it makes me want to learn. It makes me want to do all kinds of important cool stuff."
Fellow fourth grader Zach Anderson says, "She is very, very, very, very creative. She does all these fun activities. We did table top writing and a crazy snow ball fight. Every day it's a different thing and it's really fun."
Rachael explains, "Queens always taught us to think outside the box and to use strategies that fit our personalities." By that definition, Rachael's personality is highly energetic, productive and disciplined. Her teaching plan is packed with back-to-back activities that keep the kids moving to music and having fun while they learn. She moves with ease from the interactive Smart Board to small group activities, keeping the students, and their attention, along with her at every step.
She credits Queens with helping her find her unique teaching approach. "At Queens you get to do your clinicals in other schools and see a variety of teachers. You see how they take something and make it creative."
Now, Rachael is back at Queens to get her Master of Education in Literacy. "I had some really great professors in the undergraduate program," she says. "They gave me the foundation. I really wanted to go back to Queens to build on what I had learned."
She says getting her master's degree is a time commitment, but well worth it. "Going back as a graduate, you learn the research behind your teaching methods. You see how what you are doing isn't just surface level. It's actually meaningful. You see that it's truly impacting your students."
The way her students talk about her is a testament to that impact. Zach says, "When we make a mistake, she says no it's fine but next time try to do this instead of what you did." Olivia says this year "we've learned how to be good readers and how to develop ourselves as readers."
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