Sarah Hyzy, a 3rd-grade teacher at Elgin Math and Science Academy Charter School in Elgin, IL has been named the Open Up Resources EL Education K–5 Language Arts Teacher of the Month for September.
Hyzy’s work with EL Education K–5 Language Arts makes her one of the most innovative teachers in the country. The EL Education K–5 Language Arts curriculum inspires a new way of teaching language arts by engaging students through compelling, real-world content to build equitable and inclusive learning opportunities.
Sarah Said, Director of Language & Equity Programs at Elgin Math and Science Academy shared that, “Hyzy pays close attention to the details of using the curriculum. She implements with fidelity while finding ways to expand on concepts. She is a pro at differentiation and is always conscious of her students’ needs which makes her great to co-teach with!”
The most rewarding part of Hyzy’s implementation has been seeing the student response to the diverse set of trade books. “After reading Rain School, a student shared with the class, ‘I love reading books about people like me!’ This resulted in nearly half the class showing their non-verbal sign to indicate that they agreed and led to a powerful class discussion about why we feel this way,” Hyzy shared. She continued, “It also encouraged me as an educator to never underestimate the powerful impact that text featuring diverse characters and authors has on my students. I can't wait to explore more with them as I continue to search for and provide resources to reflect the diverse identities of my children!”
Hyzy’s advice to anyone new to implementing the curriculum is to never bypass a protocol or skip a discussion opportunity for the sake of time. “You do not want to miss out on giving students an opportunity to share something meaningful that they have learned with one another,'' she advises.