Get to know a CBE

Professional Development with CBE of the Month Jesús Morales

Posted by cemignano on

We’re excited to welcome July’s Certified BrainPOP Educator of the month, Jesús Morales, to the blog! Jesús is an Instructional Technology Specialist in the El Paso Independent School District in El Paso, TX. A former classroom teacher, Jesús works with teachers throughout the district to get them up and running with BrainPOP. Read on to learn more about Jesús’s experience in PD!

What grade(s) do you work with? Position?
I currently work with 12 elementary campuses (K-5) as an Instructional Technology Specialist.

How long have you been working in schools?
Prior to becoming an ITS, I was a classroom teacher in early childhood, as well as upper elementary. My last 8 years in the classroom where in the dual language program.

What inspired you to go into education?
Prior to becoming an educator, I served in the U.S. Naval Submarine Force and was the training Petty Officer for some time. I really liked sharing my knowledge with the newly enlisted and they seemed to enjoy my lessons. I even had one sailor tell me that I did my job so well that I should think about becoming a teacher. When I left the service and started my college education I remembered what that sailor had said to me and decided to major in education. I did some substitute teaching and soon saw that this was the perfect fit for me. I love sharing my knowledge with both students and teachers.

Which CBE class were you a part of? What do you like about being a CBE?
I had the great opportunity in being a part of the TCEA 2017 CBE class. It was a fantastic experience and learning opportunity. I’ve never had so much fun and learned so much. Being a CBE has given me the experience to grow in my current position and has given me the tools and knowledge necessary to assist others in the implementation of BrainPOP. This year I had the opportunity to join 2 other CBEs in showing our summer school teachers just how easy and great BrainPOP can be.

What is one of the most memorable projects you’ve done using BrainPOP resources?
As with students, it’s important that you keep your sessions organized and keep your participants on task. Every teacher I’ve trained leaves my session quite happy because we work hard at staying on track and keeping teachers active. This summer we had the privilege of training our summer school teachers and had many positive reflections. We obviously focused on the delivery of content through video. Although video integration in education has been around for quite some time, there had not really been a focus on what a student could do to show that they understood what they had just seen. One of the teachers was not convinced at the start because we had lost a previous video-learning program and she really loved it. Once I showed her all the components of BrainPOP she totally fell in love. A week later, she had created her student’s My BrainPOP accounts and had worked out her short summer school schedule in a way that her students had the opportunity to work in BrainPOP and take ownership for their learning. Watching her make BrainPOP and its multi-faceted components an important resource in her children’s learning was the best reward I could ever receive.

How has BrainPOP impacted your teachers?
Teachers who use BrainPOP love the way students interact during conversations and activities related to the movie’s topic. I have many Spanish, Dual Language teachers under my wing and they love the fact that they have access to BrainPOP Español, and that the resources are also in Spanish. One of the most important things that they love about BrainPOP is that they can go to BrainPOP Educators and find a resource, an activity, or movie based on their state standards. This definitely helps in saving time so that the teacher can concentrate on instruction and preparation.

How has becoming a CBE impacted you?
Our district is currently working on implementing Blended Learning into our classrooms. Becoming a CBE has shown me the different ways programs like BrainPOP can be a part of the learning process as an online tool, and also face-to-face discussions and project based learning activities that those resources provide. With BrainPOP and the Blended Learning Model, I can show teachers how students can take ownership of their learning whether they are in a brick-and-mortar classroom, or at home.

What are you most passionate about when it comes to education, technology, and your approaches to teaching?
Education technology is my passion and it is the knowledge that I am excited to share with teachers. I enjoy showing teachers and students that there is an unlimited bank of information on the World Wide Web that can be used to learn on their own time and pace. Not only consume but turn them into creators. To use technology to their advantage and become our future problem solvers. I am to empower the learner and have him or her find success with my guidance, but never overstepping, so that my teachers and students feel the joy in accomplishing a task all on their own.

What’s on your BrainPOP wish list?
With our district following the Dual Language model from PreK through high school, I would like to see more seamless language integration in all of BrainPOP’s activities and resources. You have done a great job in French, but still need some work in Spanish. I can already see the programmers’ and developers’ brains smoking on making sure this all gets done. Keep up the great work!