Marple Newtown Patch is featuring great teachers in the Marple Newtown area who deserve some spotlight. Teachers give a lot to their students, schools and studies and we'd like to recognize them and say a simple, thank you, for all that they do. Meet this fifth-grade teacher, who has a passion to share her love for learning to her students.
Name: Samantha Partridge
Grade/Subject: Fifth Grade
Years in the Industry: 3
I graduated from West Chester University with degrees in both Elementary and Special Education. I am currently pursuing my Master's degree in Reading at West Chester University. I completed my student teaching at Russell Elementary School. In 2009, I started teaching in Marple Newtown School District. I’ve been teaching 5th grade at Russell Elementary School for three years.
What do you like most about your job?
Teaching is special because every day is new and exciting. What I like most about my job is when I introduce something brand new to my students and I can tell that they are instantly hooked and eager to learn! Their willingness to try new things and challenge themselves is what I find to be most rewarding.
Why did you become a teacher?
From a young age, I’ve always known that I wanted to teach. Teaching allows me to share my knowledge and love of learning with my students in ways that are meaningful to them. I always encourage my students to try their best and to never give up.
What do you like best about your current school (projects, programs or activities that your school is a part of):
When I started teaching fifth grade at Russell, I started the 5th Grade Book Club with Russell’s Principal Dianne Smith. The idea was to start a club that invited all fifth-grade students to share their love of reading, as well as participate in literature discussions. The club is voluntary and students who join give up their lunch once a week to be a part of it. What makes the club inviting to students is the “choice” they have to select their own books. They can also read at a pace that is comfortable for them. Students are able to share their thoughts and feelings about what they read through many different activities.
Over the past few years, I’ve incorporated Writing Workshop into my classroom. Students really respond well to it. Writing Workshop allows students to be creative and write at their own pace. It gives students the chance to share their writing with me either one-on-one or in a small group and it allows me to give students individual suggestions and feedback through writing conferences.
Something special that I participate in each year at Russell is Reading Olympics. The team is led by Meredith Marks, Russell’s reading specialist, and coached by several other Russell teachers. Dedicated fourth- and fifth-grade students read and journal throughout the course of the school year to prepare for the big night, when students from many different schools come together to share their knowledge about the books they read. It is very rewarding to see students grow as readers and I am very proud of all of our Russell Readers!
I was also a part of Math Concept Grouping, which is something new this year at Russell in fifth grade. Through concept grouping, students are given opportunities to be challenged in certain math concepts, as well as receive extra support when needed. Before teaching a new concept, every student in fifth grade takes a pretest, which contains information that is used to group the students. My grade partners and I have the opportunity to get to know and work with every fifth grade student by teaching math this way. It also allows each of our students to learn in ways that are best for them.