Palm Beach Lakes Teacher Named Regional Winner of Just Read Florida, High School Reading Teacher of the Year
Elaine Alvin, an Intensive Reading teacher at Palm Beach Lakes High School, has been named the Regional Winner of Just Read Florida, High School Reading Teacher of the Year. Ms. Alvin now advances to the State competition. Ms. Alvin is the Reading Department Chair at Palm Beach Lakes High and leads a team of 14 Reading teachers. She can proudly boast that her team led the school in making the second highest reading gains in the Palm Beach County School District on the 2009 FCAT. “Our Reading Department is lucky to have her as their instructional leader and our students are even luckier to have her coaching them on to Reading proficiency,” said Assistant Principal for Curriculum Marjorie Lesser.
Ms. Alvin’s students in her six Intensive Reading classes are 10th thru 12th graders struggling their way through the world of vocabulary, comprehension and a passing Reading FCAT score as a graduation requirement. How does one give these teens the skills they need to assure a high school diploma? Ms. Alvin’s answer is simple—relate the subject to something her students can relate to—sports. Passionate about teaching, insisting on excellence from her students, she tells them that she is their coach and they are the players. Each class chooses a sport to represent their class. Team captains in the room assist their classmates with technology struggles and other concerns they may have. Her students are encouraged to work together as a team to improve reading comprehension, fluency, word and phrases, as well as practicing strategies in an attempt to master all four clusters of the Reading portion of the FCAT. The ultimate goal for her students is to become proficient in Reading, demonstrate learning gains and meet the graduation requirement leading to a high school diploma. In addition, Ms. Alvin’s hope is to instill in her students a life long passion for Reading and encourages her students to earn extra credits by reading novels through the school’s Reading Counts program.
Always willing to go the extra mile for students and colleagues, she collaborates with Science, Social Studies and English teachers to plan lessons and share strategies to enhance student leaning and improve achievement through Reading. Ms. Alvin is available to her students, before school, after school, during Saturday tutorial and even during the summer as a teacher in the Reading boot camp for entering freshmen reading under grade level as well as a lead teacher at the JFK/City of Riviera Beach Academic Summer Camp. She also volunteers for various reading programs through her sorority’s community service program, Z HOPE.
For more information please contact Ms. Lesser at 561-640-5000 or Lesserm@palmbeach.k12.fl.us .