Catrena Giles is a reading teacher at Brandon High School. She possess more than 13 years of teaching experience in the secondary education field. Her professional career includes student and teacher leadership responsibilities such as reading teacher, on-site professional developer, social chair, junior class sponsor, yearbook teacher, and step team sponsor at Brandon High School.
During the years of 2013-2015, Ms. Giles served in the capacity as the On-Site Professional Developer at Brandon High School. She led school-wide staff trainings/meetings on topics such as rigor and relevance in the classroom, the EET rubric, and technology in the classroom. She was also the facilitator of two professional book studies involving 16 teachers.
Her journey started with a desire to be a part of the school-wide plan to help support teacher growth inside of the classroom. Her plan was implemented smoothly due to the open-minds and hearts of the staff at Brandon High School…who were willing to step outside of the box and learn new ways of instructing their students. Aside from the training, their book studies were rich with discussion as they analyzed: “Educating Everybody’s Children: Diverse Teaching Strategies for Diverse Learners” and “Never Work Harder Than Your Students.” Teachers were able to take away tangible strategies and implement them right away within their classrooms!
One obstacle (that she can remember as served in this role) is releasing the feeling that she needed to know everything about every discussion or topic being presented. Ms. Giles remembers not feeling completely sure how to tackle EET questions and concerns and quickly released the pressure of needing to know the answer to every question…but instead reassured the staff that she was learning right along with them and that whatever questions she did not know, that she would find out the answer. As a result, many teachers were impacted by her expertise and professionalism!
Ms. Giles’ words of advice, “Anyone in this role must give 110%, prepare, relax and have fun!”