January Graider of the Month: Regan Jolley

Regan is, quite simply, an overachiever. In the past year, she graduated from the University of Georgia (a semester early!) and began working as a substitute teacher. She has also become a standout Graider, supporting dozens of teachers and hundreds of students across the country through The Graide Network. Regan is thoughtful and communicative with teachers and cares deeply about her work. We are honored to have her on The Graide Network team this spring, before she joins Teach for America as a high school English teacher in Charlotte later this year.

Teaching had been on Regan’s mind since high school, but it was not until sophomore year of college that she had a realization that solidified this career path:

We really need good educators - people who are passionate about helping children and changing the world. Maybe that’s idealistic, but it’s who I am.

Regan is serious when she says she wants to change the world. As a result, her greatest fear about becoming a teacher is if she is not able to impact someone’s life. “What if I am unable to adapt to help them? I’m really trying to work on that now - having the flexibility to adapt and personalize learning for students.”

Being a Graider has helped Regan see how veteran teachers adapt to their students. Whenever she is grading an assignment, she says she is interested in seeing what the teachers are looking for from their students, how they use different rubrics, how they prioritize different aspects in grading. “I am putting a lot of stuff into my own ‘mind palace’ to file away for teaching. It is seems like the teachers really know what to expect from their students. It is apparent that teachers tailor their resources, assignments and rubrics to their students.”

In the last several months at The Graide Network, Regan has worked with high school English teachers in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, and Nashville. Teaches have raved about the quality of Regan’s feedback.

Thank you so much! The feedback for the essays is wonderful. Students were very appreciative of the feedback. The feedback was very balanced between students’ strengths and areas of for improvement. Students stated that they knew exactly what to do to redo the assignment. They can use all of your comments to improve their writing.
— Lashawn Christman, Rauner College Prep
Regan was absolutely outstanding! She wrote very detailed feedback for each of my students. Her feedback was focused and meaningful. When I read through her response I was so excited to share with my students and know they will grow because of her work!
— Megan Smeeding, Muchin College Prep

Prior to becoming a Graider, Regan said she had not had much exposure to teaching. That said, her major in Classical Culture and minor in Women’s Studies were very writing intensive, including frequent peer review. Being intimately familiar with rubrics is an important skill Regan brings to her grading at The Graide Network. For her, the most difficult part about grading is giving consistent feedback - being fair and applying the rubric equally to each student and fighting grading drift over time.

It has been a pleasure working with Regan. Her attention to detail, care for students, and focus on her own professional growth and development shines clearly through in all of her works. Plus, Regan’s thoughtful, focused, and detailed feedback serves as a valuable tool for students and teachers. We are excited to see her fine-tuned educator skills in action when she enters the classroom this fall!

Regan’s tips for Graiders

Time management! Especially at first, assignments would take me a long time. I really had to figure out what works best for me. First, figure out any questions you have about assignment and get those answered by the teacher well in advance. Then you will have everything you need to start grading when you’re ready.

Congratulations on being recognized as our Graider of the Month, Regan!