Director of Teaching & Learning Miles Azzeh's Academic Spotlight: Emily Easum
Emily Easum, 2nd grade teacher at LES, is this week's focus of our academic spotlight. Emily invited me to see the finished product of a week-long art project her students engaged in that tasked them with creating a unique and artistic pumpkin. After completing and displaying their pumpkins, students silently voted and picked their class favorite. This was an excellent way for Emily to allow her students to show off their creativity and style.
"I gave students this assignment because I personally loved art projects in school. It was always my moment to shine. I loved the extra time it gave me to craft with my mom and have her help me with something other than math or reading at home," said Emily.
Students created some AMAZING pumpkins and had a lot of fun showing them off and being allowed to vote. While this was a learning opportunity, specifically with social skills and following directions, Ms. Easum ensured the students still had a great time while engaging in a creative activity to make kids love their time at school.
"We do not have a lot of time to do crafts during the day, so I am scared students may miss out on some creativity lessons. I try to do a fun activity or craft at least every other day because those were the things that made me like going to school so I hope I can help at least one student enjoy coming to school because they know they can be creative however they like," said Ms. Easum.
In addition to enjoying seeing the kids having fun and being actively engaged, it warmed my heart that Emily not only brought a prize for the winner (Cruz Gonzalez) but also participation gifts for all students in the class (a choice of a pumpkin or ghost keychain). It's impressive to see a new teacher recognize the importance of feeling included in their early years of education.
"I wanted everyone to have something even if they did not make a pumpkin or did not win because everyone still participated in some way, whether that be voting or decorating a pumpkin," said Emily.
As always, I focused on whether or not students were engaged and having a good time, and as always, I was impressed to see they were having a blast.
"I really liked the voting as a class, and everyone got a ghost or pumpkin keychain. I had fun making the pumpkin, but it took me about three hours because the paint had to dry, "said Cruz Gonzalez.
"I liked watching Cruz win. I had a lot of fun making the pumpkin with my mom. We got the idea from Pinterest, and it took about 3 hours because we had to melt the crayons with a hairdryer," said Hadley Chastain
"I really like the dojo point prizes. We had VIP supplies like different pens and pencils that are really fun. I enjoy all my friends being here, and at the end of the day, we watch different dismissal videos. My favorites are the magnet building videos," said Micah Snider.
"My favorite part about this class is the class party we had. We watched a movie in our PJ's and had popcorn. I also am getting a lot better at reading this year," said Hailey Carlson.
Thank you, Emily, for being a great teacher for our Lansing students!