Daneal Silvers, 2018 Fellow
Edison Regional Gifted Center | Chicago, IL
Daneal believes families are a child’s first teacher. Before the start of every school year, she asks families to complete a brief survey she created to learn about each student’s home life, interests, strengths, and needs. From the survey responses, she establishes monthly thematic units that connect to her students’ interests and backgrounds. Each unit focuses on an essential question that asks her students to think deeply about a big idea, such as peacefulness, empathy, stamina, grit, and exploration. The unit themes and corresponding big ideas also drive classroom activities and instruction. Students who attend Edison Regional Gifted Center are gifted learners, and she tailors instruction to individual levels of academic readiness. Daneal’s approach to teaching is akin to that of an academic coach, versus a traditional classroom teacher. She wholeheartedly enjoys designing both the physical and intellectual environments in which her students can learn best. Daneal demonstrates to her students that their voices matter and they can and should make a difference, even as young Kindergarteners. As a result of her achievement in the classroom, she was previously recognized as a Chicago Bulls Teacher of the Month.
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