When Tabitha Garvin, a grade 5 educator, first heard about Wit & Wisdom® as an instructional coach in her district, she was drawn in by the positive impact the curriculum had on student achievement. “I had the opportunity to support a school in the coaching role as they began implementing Wit & Wisdom,” said Garvin. “I attended Launch training along with my colleagues and was hooked. The presenter was knowledgeable and offered practical classroom examples. I had to learn more!”
As Garvin worked more with the curriculum, she discovered the Wit & Wisdom Fellowship Program. As a fellow, Garvin collaborates with curriculum experts from across the country in supporting new and seasoned implementers to ensure that they are making the most of the curriculum. Read on to learn more about what inspired her to pursue teaching, how she has seen students thrive with Wit & Wisdom, and why you should apply for the fellowship program today.
You’ve been an educator for 18 years. What inspired you to pursue a career in education and what keeps you motivated to continue teaching?
Simply stated, my passion is education. As a child, I remember imaginative play involving “school” with me as a teacher. I continued to pursue this dream when I entered college. Seeing the positive impact that I could make on students and my goal of being a lifelong learner led me to keep pursuing my dreams in the field of education. I currently have a Master of Arts in Elementary education and an add-on licensure in School Administration. I love the phrase “know better, do better;” it helps motivate me to continue to be the best educator I can be, always keeping all students at the forefront.
What has been the most rewarding part of being a Wit & Wisdom fellow?
I have been blessed to have the opportunity to work with fellow educators across the United States, both fellows and Wit & Wisdom implementers. I learn just as much from my peers as they learn from me, and we all grow together. The networking is amazing! During the fellowship, I participate in meetings where I am challenged as a learner and participate in my own productive struggle as I learn what recent research says and best practices.
Can you tell us a little bit about your experience using Wit & Wisdom in the classroom?
The Great Minds® motto is “Every child is capable of greatness.” I watch how my students use the knowledge-building curriculum and become a community of learners. I think of my students who are multilingual learners and students with disabilities specifically. When engaging in Socratic Seminars, these identified students shine as they share with their fellow scholars how they can answer the posed Essential Question with text-based answers. Through writing activities and focusing question tasks, all students show how they have internalized the content. I love observing how each child grows individually as we work through a module. I continue to be blown away with the gains in knowledge and achievement I see my students show daily!
What advice would you share with someone who is interested in applying for the Fellowship Program?
If you are a passionate educator, believe in this knowledge-building curriculum and the research behind it, and want to have a positive impact on fellow educators and students, then I would follow the advice of the Nike slogan: “Just Do It.” The fellowship program is one of the most rewarding experiences!
To learn more about the Wit & Wisdom Fellowship Program and to apply to join this passionate community of educators, visit the fellowship program website here.
Tabitha lives in a rural town in North Carolina with her wonderful husband, who she recently married. They have two fabulous cats, Gatsby and Gus. She just completed her eighteenth year in public education where she has taught multiple grade levels in elementary school and served as an Instructional Facilitator. Wanting to continue learning about Wit & Wisdom, she returned to the classroom to learn more about the curriculum and implementation. She is a life long learner and has pursued her Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degrees all in Elementary Education while also earning an administration add on licensure.
Topics: Professional Development