Graider of the Month: Megan Luther

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APRIL EDITION

From the very first time I spoke with Megan Luther, I was blown away by her passion for teaching, her deep love of literature, and the palpable energy and excitement in her voice when she spoke about working with students. Thus, it came as no surprise that all of the teachers Meg has supported this semester have been equally impressed! In a matter of weeks, teachers have reached out to us praising Meg on the quality and accuracy of her feedback, her attention and focus on their students’ needs, and her engagement and commitment even at the busiest times of the year. It is Graiders like Meg that make my job easy!

Meg is a sophomore at Oakland University, majoring in English with a Secondary Education certification and a minor in history. In ninth grade, Meg was inspired by one of her own English teachers, Mr. Spreitzer, who had a unique ability to make every lesson he taught - every book and poem and short story - connect to real life in a way in which all of the students could relate. In his class, Meg realized that every student had the potential to connect with literature in a meaningful and personal way - “words are just that powerful." Meg knew then and there that she wanted to teach high school English. She is excited to enter the classroom in a few years’ time and be able to work with students at the critical age when “you can have a mature conversation with them, begin to explore their true passions and interests in learning, and help guide them as they think about their college and career journeys ahead.”

While she is a history buff at heart, Meg is also a forward-looking and visionary thinker. She recognizes that technology - and the breakneck pace at which it is changing and evolving - is both a tremendous opportunity and tremendous challenge for teachers today. Apart from their countless other responsibilities, a critical part of a teacher’s job is learning to use and effectively implement new technology in the classroom, to evaluate what is working and what isn’t, to stay abreast of new ed tech trends and developments, and to teach students to use technology responsibly. Most importantly, teachers have to find the right balance - it’s a fine line between too much and too little reliance on technology, and the goal posts continue to shift. Meg realizes that when she enters the classroom in three years’ time, education technology will look very different than it does today, which is a new and significant challenge for first-year teachers. Meg, however, is excited about the potential for technology to drive student engagement and to encourage “learning through doing” - getting students up and moving around in the classroom, more involved and focused.

Meg is grateful for the opportunity to work with teachers and students through The Graide Network (and we are extremely grateful for her!). It’s a unique chance to start working with education technology before entering the classroom, and it also provides much-desired experience working with rubrics and building her grading intuition. Meg has loved being able to get an understanding of class performance as a whole and then drilling down to each student to deliver personalized, focused feedback. Meg is a true believer in the power of the written word. She hopes to instill in all of her students the firm belief that “if you have something important to say, if you want to make sure your voice is heard - write it down in ink. Then it is there forever, and you never know where that thought could end up or who/what it could inspire."  With her thoughtful and thorough feedback, Meg is helping more students find their voice, and we couldn’t be prouder of her work!

Meg’s tip for new Graiders: Don’t be afraid to apply for assignments! No one is perfect the first time around and that’s okay - it’s a constant and continuous learning process! The teachers and The Graide Network team are there to help, so don’t be intimidated and get involved!