Get to know a CBE

Getting to Know CBE Nay Belaunzarán

Posted by cemignano on

September’s Certified BrainPOP Educator of the Month joins us all the way from Querétaro, México! We’re excited to introduce you to Nay Belaunzarán and share the inspiration for what led her into education. Read on to see how becoming a CBE has changed her teaching and how BrainPOP has impacted her students.

What grade(s) do you teach? Subject area?
I’m a Fifth Grade teacher at Thomas Jefferson School in Querétaro, México where I teach English, Science, History and Geography. We’re an international school, so I teach all the subjects in English.

How long have you been teaching?
This is my 9th year teaching, although I’ve worked in the field of Education for over 12 years. I started as a Pre-First teacher, then moved on to Third Grade for a couple of years and this is my sixth year in Fifth Grade.

What inspired you to go into education?
My mom and my grandma were Kindergarten teachers at an opportunity school for many, many years. I grew up watching them dedicate their afternoons and weekends to making the lives of their students better. They made us (brother and cousins included)  volunteer a lot, helping out in whatever we could: painting, cleaning, decorating, donating toys, etc. I spent many summers tutoring or being a counselor, and countless weekends going downtown to buy supplies and felt, lots of felt! As a kid I couldn’t understand how they could be so devoted to children who were not even their own. I have to thank them for helping me understand the importance of making school a safe place for kids, which can truly make a difference in their lives.

Which CBE class were you a part of? What do you like about being a CBE?
I was part of the ISTE 2016 Class in Denver. What I love the most about this community of outstanding educators is the passion and willingness they have to help others. You truly feel like someone’s got your back. I’ve become really good friends with some CBEs from around the world and we share ideas and support each other.

What is one of the most memorable projects you’ve done with your class using BrainPOP resources?
A couple of years ago I piloted a “paperless classroom” with literally no notebooks and textbooks, only devices. BrainPOP became my core tool for Science and Geography. Students were super excited to have an account to watch Tim and Moby at home and their teacher was, too. Having a platform with curated content, kid friendly, that provided tools for differentiated instruction, it was heaven! We took advantage of every tool available at the time and made it part of our class. Students were engaged and working independently, but mostly enjoying the class, discovering all kinds of features and building on top of their knowledge with the FYI and Time Zone X.

How has BrainPOP impacted a specific student (or group of students)?
I had a very shy student who didn’t like to participate orally in class. He would become very anxious and I could see him upset when he had to. Make-a-Movie gave him a voice. He had so much insight and perspective on the topics, he just wasn’t comfortable discussing it out loud. His movies were amazing, his grades got better and he always had a big smile when it was sharing time with the class.

How has becoming a CBE impacted you?
Every student has a unique combination of skills and abilities and the challenges are numerous in every classroom. Being a CBE has helped me explore and understand the tools better and the platform itself through the CBE community, the Beta testing and specially learning from other educators. I feel more confident now, and can tailor my instruction to meet the individual needs of my students to create amazing learning experiences because of these opportunities.

What are you most passionate about when it comes to education, technology, and your approaches to teaching?
Learning! There’s nothing I enjoy more about my job than when one of my students has that a-ha! moment in my class whether they’re using technology, having a hands-on activity or working on a project.The bottom line for me is to provide my students with the tools and environment so that they create their own learning path.

What’s on your BrainPOP wish list?
More topics on the History of Mexico! And I would love the ability to share with parents what their kids are doing through a summary or a link.