Meet a Teacher is a column that features a teacher that teachers right here in North Andover.
Today we feature Lisa Frackleton, a teacher at the Sargent Elementary School.
Patch: Where do you teach and how long have you taught there?
Lisa: I currently teach fourth grade at the Annie L. Sargent Elementary School, and this is my sixth year of teaching.
Patch: Briefly describe your education and past experience.
Lisa: I achieved my bachelor’s degree from Fitchburg State College where I majored in Communications with a concentration in Graphic Design. I spent 10 years in the advertising world and worked as a graphic artist in and around the Boston area. Then while raising my family with my husband Joe, I attended and earned my master’s degree from Salem State College in Elementary Education. I began teaching in the Hamilton-Wenham Public Schools as a part-time teaching assistant, and also did my teaching practicum there. In the fall of 2006 I was fortunate enough to acquire my first teaching job at Sargent as a third grade teacher.
Patch: What is the best part about teaching in North Andover?
Lisa: The students! They are my incentive each and every day. They are always eager to learn, and bring a smile to my face no matter how I feel. My students inspire me to do my best, as they are always inquisitive, positive, and always open to whatever or “wherever” our studies take us. I have had so many wonderful learning experiences in North Andover with these children, that I feel they have helped me perhaps more than I have helped them!
Patch: Are there any certain teaching strategies or procedures you like to employ in the classroom?
Lisa: I strive to create a classroom environment that is accepting of all students, and one that presents a consistent, calm, yet open learning environment. I want students to feel comfortable even in the event of getting a wrong answer as I think this is one of the greatest learning opportunities for all. We often talk about how problems can be solved in a multitude of ways, therefore the wrong answer might lead us to the traditional answer, or, not-so-traditional answer. Outside-the-box thinking is greatly encouraged, and the path we travel to get there can be very enlightening.
I also work toward addressing all objectives for this age student as I firmly believe that they have the right to know WHY they are studying what they are studying. I feel that this aids them in building ownership of their learning.
I have found that a 4-step lesson plan model resonates with my style of teaching, and seems to be a successful model for student learning as well. A lesson begins with a quick motivator; something to grab their interest. Then a mini-lesson with the curriculum information, but I try to be aware of the time spent - “teacher talking” – so I work to keep it short. The next step is the application portion in which they apply their newly learned knowledge (largest chunk of time). Then to wrap it up, a short reflection time period in which they might talk/share with classmates, or whole group discussion to integrate their new knowledge with what they already know.
Patch: What inspired you to become a teacher?
Lisa: I believe it was my own children that made me begin to envision my capabilities to teach. I have two outstanding teenagers who I marvel at every day! They are very different learners, and this also added into the recipe of my initial thoughts of changing careers. Because of their different learning styles, I found myself thinking and wondering why this is so. Pursuing a teaching career later in life has helped me to understand why all children need that extra something special to help them thrive. And in these times, they need support from many sources; I believe in “it takes a village”.
One of my favorite teacher quotes is: “Children are like little plants; they all need something special to make them grow.” Author - Retired Danvers teacher.
Do you know any North Andover teachers deserving of recognition? If so, leave a comment or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.