Today we’re highlighting Melissa Cupp, a third grade teacher at Lansdowne Elementary. Melissa has been teaching for 19 years – 15 in Virginia, and 4 here in Fayette County. She has held quite a few positions, including first through fourth grades and an Intervention position. While she taught first grade for the longest time, and loved teaching her students to read, third grade has come with the benefit of having more independent students, as well as having more challenging subjects to help them understand.
Helping her students find their “I get it!” moment has been her absolute favorite part of teaching across grades. In first grade, it’s learning to read, which opens up the world to children. In third grade, they’re learning lots of higher math, and they feel a huge sense of accomplishment when they finally understand a concept they’ve been struggling with for a while.
One of the biggest challenges teachers face is finding ways to fit everything into the 7 hours of instructional time they have each day. There are so many things to teach their students, and balancing that with activity breaks and fun is often difficult. Melissa has found that being flexible in both actions and thinking helps her to manage the expectations in a meaningful way. Every day doesn’t look the same, and that’s ok: what she may not have time for today, she’ll be sure to work on tomorrow, ensuring that everything ultimately gets covered.
Keeping the kids engaged during the day is a high priority, and the VersaTiles she received for her Teacher Outreach Program grant have helped immensely! The system allows each student to work at their own pace and level, and then self-check their answers, which frees up time for Melissa to work individually with students who may be struggling. The kids love lessons on the new VersaTiles, which didn’t quite fit into Melissa’s classroom budget without the TOP.
Bringing innovative teaching tools into the classroom is one of our primary goals at the Kloiber Foundation, and seeing the way VersaTiles has improved Melissa’s classroom has been so exciting! It is a pleasure to work with teachers who are looking for new and exciting ways to engage their students, and Melissa Cupp is doing a fantastic job at Lansdowne Elementary.