Featured author: Lauren Helfer
Lauren Helfer is a veteran teacher, having taught for 10 years. She’s taught 5th and 6th grade math and science as well as English as a Second Language classes in a dual language program. She’s currently serving as an instructional math specialist for a large, diverse school district in Texas. Her school is a Title I campus, and so it has a high population of socioeconomically disadvantaged students.
We chatted with Lauren about teaching and being an author on TES, and here’s what she had to say about:
Her process for creating resources
When I’m creating a new resource, I think about what my students need that I can’t find in existing materials. I’ve worked with the most at-risk students for most of my teaching career, so I think about them a lot. Mostly, I make math games because it was always difficult to find these for middle grade math classrooms.
The first year of teaching
The first year is hard. It probably won’t be like you thought it would be when you dreamed about having your own classroom. Do your best to not take it personally and instead approach it as experience to help you grow. Seek out as much professional development as possible. You’ll often get materials to use in your classroom as well as great ideas and techniques.
A time when she particularly impacted a student
My first year teaching, I had a young lady in my fifth grade science class. She was quiet and sweet, but didn’t think she had the ability to do well. By chance, I had the privilege to have her in my class again the next year. By the end of the sixth grade, she was one of my best students She volunteered answers and helped in class. She really came out of her shell and became a leader.
Every year until she graduated from high school, she came to visit me. The first time she visited, she excitedly told me that she was taking advanced science and had been elected president of her junior high class. Once she was in high school, she told me she had been accepted into a special program for students interested in health and science careers. The fall after she graduated, she had more great news: she’d been given a scholarship to a college where she would study pre-med. Each time she visited me, she reminded me of how she was so thankful that I had believed in her and encouraged her to do well in science. I’ll never forget her!
Are you interested in being one of our featured authors? We’ve found that a featured author’s resources are:Student-friendly:
They’re engaging, visually appealing, differentiated, and rigorous. Teacher-friendly:
They’re organized, easy-to-use, and designed for teachers to download, print, and pass out to students. Comprehensive:
They contain everything needed to implement them in the classroom (e.g., clear lesson plan, activities for presentations, and rubrics for assessments). Searchable:
They have a detailed description with keywords that highlight applicable state standards and learning outcomes. Contact us!