Spanning 37 states and 20 countries, our Master Teachers spark innovation and creativity among colleagues and help shape the Epic experience by providing their expertise and insights through surveys, interviews and advisory groups.
Meet Master Teacher of the Month, Eboné Lawrence-Smith!
Currently a 4th-grade teacher for Long Branch Public Schools in Long Branch, New Jersey, Eboné has been a dedicated Epic Master Teacher for the past three years, and she’s been teaching for 10! We’ve been so lucky for all of the ways her expertise has helped shape Epic throughout her time with us. She’s shared inspiring words, provided feedback to make our app experience better for teachers and helped support our community of Epic Educators throughout the challenges of teaching remotely.
Here’s what she shared in our recent interview with her:
Epic: How did you get into the profession of teaching?
Lawrence-Smith: I decided I wanted to be a teacher when I was in elementary school. One teacher, in particular, inspired me to want to follow in her footsteps. She was a second-grade special education teacher in my building, and I truly enjoyed interacting with her class. She showed compassion for my individuality and encouraged my achievements even though she was not even my teacher. When I see her today, I thank her for all she did for me as a child. She served as my mentor in many ways, and for this, I am forever grateful.
Epic: Tell us a little bit about how remote teaching has been for you. What have been your challenges? What are you most proud of?
Lawrence-Smith: If I’m honest, remote teaching has been enjoyable. I have always loved incorporating technology into my classroom as much as possible, so the transition to remote learning was not too difficult for my students. One downside I will say is I miss interacting with my students in person. The smiles, high fives and small talk in the halls are missed. It does not feel the same without the laughter echoing through the room. However, I am beyond proud of how resilient our students have been despite their challenges during this time.
Epic: How do you like to use Epic in your remote classroom?
Lawrence-Smith: Epic has been a staple in my classroom for many years. Students are encouraged to use this resource during their center activities, research assignments and reading at home. With the world becoming more digital, even pre-COVID, Epic was precisely what our students needed.
Epic: How has Epic impacted student learning in your classroom?
Lawrence-Smith: Epic has allowed students to have a personal library both in and outside of the classroom. Many students are not afforded the opportunity to have various books with varied genres, levels and interests they can access outside of school. Epic has allowed us to work towards bridging the gap between home and school.
Epic: What piece of advice or mantra would you like to share with other educators who might be struggling this school year?
Lawrence-Smith: The defeat, frustration and struggle of today are temporary. Despite everything going on in the world today our students need us! Keep pushing, and continue to be the change!
Epic: Is there anything else you’d like to share with other Epic Educators?
Lawrence-Smith: Think beyond the walls of your classroom; promote Epic to the families you serve. Many of them are not aware of this fantastic resource available to them. Promote the love of reading and learning within an entire family.