To kick off our Featured Educator series, we caught up with Quizizz Game Changer and 2021 Tennessee Teacher of the Year finalist Laura Boyd to talk about her innovative, interactive approach to teaching. She’s a Spanish teacher at Poplar Grove Middle School in Franklin, Tennessee, where she has taught for the past eight years. Poplar Grove proudly reports that, during that time, all of Laura’s graduating eighth-graders have gone on to successfully earn high school credit and have enrolled in Spanish II as freshmen.
In recognizing Laura as a Teacher of the Year finalist, Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson said she “exemplifies how teachers have the ability to transform the lives of young people, inspire a joy of learning, and empower students to reach their full potential. I had the privilege of visiting her classroom via Zoom last fall,” he went on, “and know she is very deserving of this award.”
Below, we hear from Laura about what motivates her and how she and her students embrace technology and data to make learning more meaningful.
What motivated you to become a teacher and what keeps you motivated today?
Laura: I became a teacher because I personally had a lot of influential teachers in my life who positively impacted my educational journey. I continue to stay motivated because I know the role of the teacher has the greatest impact on student achievement. The work we do matters each and every day and I know that I am making a difference for my middle school students.
How did you react to being nominated as a TN Teacher of the Year Finalist?
Laura: I was very honored and excited to win teacher of the year for my school/district/region this past year. Knowing the work was difficult for all teachers last year in a pandemic, it was nice to be publicly recognized among my peers.
How have you used Quizizz during remote/hybrid learning and in the classroom?
Laura: I use Quizizz every single day! I used Quizizz a lot during hybrid teaching and especially relied on the ability to use the team and classic mode. It’s awesome to have my students be paired with random teams and work together collaboratively. I also found it extremely beneficial to assign as test mode which was helpful to collect class and individual data. This gives me lots of great feedback! I love Quizizz because it is data-driven and gives feedback immediately to students and they also love memes. Middle Schoolers love learning through gamification and Quizizz provides meaningful learning opportunities for my students to demonstrate what they know in a fun and engaging way!
I like Quizizz lesson mode because it is still interactive, but gives checks for understanding so the kids stay engaged. They get to hear a little bit of information then have interactive questions rather than just looking at a slideshow. They also tend to perform better when they have a timer that counts down from question to question. This instills a sense of urgency in the learning and also helps with my lesson pacing as an educator.
You’ve inspired so many teachers. Who are some educators and edu-creators who inspire you?
Laura: I am so inspired by:
Give these other awesome educators a follow. Then, learn more about Laura’s innovative approach to teaching in her Edutopia article, Flexible Lesson Planning for World Language Classes, and by following @technologylaura on Twitter.
At Quizizz, we know technology companies don’t change the world. Teachers do. Millions of teachers like Laura use our platform to motivate learners and create and customize interactive activities across learning–from instruction to reinforcement to review. In their hands, we can inspire the next generation of leaders, engineers, artists, and entrepreneurs. If you know a teacher making a meaningful impact with Quizizz, give them a shoutout on Twitter with #quizizz and we just might make them our next Featured Educator!