2017 Blackboard Award Honoree: Susie Li

Susie Li, photo by Andrew Schwartz

Editor’s note: To read profiles of all 2017 Blackboard Awards honorees, click HERE!

Susie Li
Grade 6, Math
P.S. 126 – Manhattan Academy of Technology

Tell us about some of the special joys and challenges you’ve experienced as a teacher.

What I love most about teaching is also what I find to be the most challenging aspect of teaching: Finding ways to make learning math accessible and engaging to all students while facing the challenge of classes filled with diverse learners who have diverse experiences and needs.

Please share a special project or achievement that you are particularly proud of from this year.

The most exciting project I have done this year is the Dream House Project, where students are given the opportunity to design and decorate a house of their dreams using the iPad app Home Design. After creating a blueprint of their house, students are then asked to calculate the length, width, and area of the rooms to decide how much paint is needed to cover the walls or how much wall-to-wall carpet is needed to cover the floors.

Kristen Pozzouli of DK Publishing, Susie Li, and John Hurley of Family Media at the 2017 Blackboard Awards

Over the course of your career, what do you consider your greatest accomplishments?

I consider teaching math beyond my classroom one of my greatest achievements. I create video lessons for the whole grade 6 curriculum and post them on my website as a resource for students, both current and former, parents, and colleagues. After some thorough research, I have settled on adopting the “flipped classroom” teaching model where I would record my lessons for the day ahead of time and have students watch the assigned video the day before. This model gives students the flexibility to watch and re-watch a video lesson at their need. To hold them accountable for their learning, students are asked to complete a handout that goes along with video. The “flipped classroom” teaching model is a total game changer in my classroom because it gives students more time to apply and understand how a strategy is used in different problems and in different inquiry-based activities.

What keeps you motivated and committed to being a dedicated
and hard-working educator?

My love of teaching and sharing my knowledge drives me to become a dedicated and hard-working educator. I have been teaching grade 6 for many years and I still cannot say that I have perfected my lessons because I always find something new that I can add to or modify in my lessons every year.




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