I am pleased and honored to announce Anastasia Masters, a Graide Network “veteran”, as our May Graider of the Month! Anastasia is a rising junior at the University of Michigan. Through the School of Education she is pursuing a Secondary Education Certification with a Social Studies Comprehensive major. Anastasia has been supporting teachers across the country for the past two semesters. She is consistently praised for her insightful, thorough feedback and engagement.
Anastasia has known she wanted to be a teacher since a very young age, but it wasn’t until last fall when she started volunteering in a local Detroit school, that she realized her true calling. While volunteering in literacy classes, Anastasia was deeply troubled by the number of high school students who were reading at a 1st or 2nd-grade reading level. She realized the true value of a strong educational foundation and support system. Anastasia knew she wanted to pursue teaching to help others and ensure they received the education they deserved. She knows she has chosen a highly rewarding and hugely challenging profession. One of the greatest challenges will be instilling a love of learning in her students, inspiring them to become lifelong learners themselves. This, however, is a challenge Anastasia is ready to face head-on.
Anastasia is the first person from her immediate family to attend college, and when her acceptance letter from the University of Michigan arrived in the mail she was moved to tears. She had always dreamed of studying there as a young girl – it was her “dream school”. She feels fortunate to be studying at one of the top schools in the country, where she can continue her own educational journey. Anastasia has always had a deep love of history, so it’s no surprise that she hopes to one day teach history to HS students. What captivates her most is how “people from hundreds and thousands of years before us are still so similar – how we can apply historical situations and lessons to present-day events and real-life decisions.” She firmly believes that studying the past is an important way of learning to live and succeed in the present.
We know Anastasia will certainly succeed when she enters the classroom herself in just a few years’ time. Her intelligence, confidence, passion, and care for students is palpable in her words and in her work. We are thrilled and honored to have her as a Graider, where she is able to support teachers and students across the country while honing her craft. Through The Graide Network, Anastasia has come to realize the importance of timely, actionable, and focused feedback, and just how time-intensive the grading and feedback process can be. She has learned to read student work, identify the areas of greatest need, and deliver direct, tailored, and insightful feedback. We can’t wait to see her in action, and are hugely proud and grateful of all of her work and support!
Anastasia’s Tip for New Graiders: Don’t be afraid to pick up an assignment outside of your direct comfort zone or narrow area of expertise! I felt comfortable grading SS, but when I accepted my first ELA assignment I was nervous. “Would I know how to grade the work and deliver feedback?” “Would I meet the teacher's expectations?” I quickly realized that with a robust rubric and the teacher’s clear instructions and guidance, grading was easy – and fun! I really enjoyed grading another subject – it was an awesome learning opportunity for me! Plus, you can speak directly to the teachers and ask questions, which is hugely helpful.