Get to know a CBE

Getting to Know CBE Rosie Santiago

Posted by cemignano on

We’d like to welcome July Certified BrainPOP Educator of the Month, Rosie Santiago, to the blog! Rosie is an Instructional Technology Coordinator in Arlington, VA. Read on to learn about her passion for education and providing rich educational opportunities for all students. 

What grade(s) do you teach? Subject area?
I am currently the Instructional Technology Coordinator at Claremont Immersion School in Arlington, Virginia. I have taught ESL at the high school level, Kindergarten, First grade, Fourth grade, and Seventh grade. 

How long have you been teaching?
This will be my sixteenth year as an educator.

What inspired you to go into education?
In my early educational years, my family moved many times between Puerto Rico and New Jersey, as well as within both places. I was what we know as a transient or mobile student. 

Throughout my journey what inspired me to go into education was how the educators in my life made it their priority to SEE ME, GET TO KNOW ME and above all BE KIND to me. I cannot recall a time I felt unwanted as I started a new school or returned to my previous school. My teachers were always friendly, respectful, and understanding. They made sure I was learning and being challenged. They taught me the value and power of education. I fondly remember my teacher Mrs. Rogers who always said, “Education is your way out.”

As a result, I understood that education is key to breaking the cycle of disadvantage. 

I’ve discovered that building positive relationships with students and families is essential to breaking that cycle. I owe it to them and my family to pay it forward. 

Which CBE class were you a part of? What do you like about being a CBE? 
I was part of the October 2016 online cohort. 

I love how BrainPOP empowers us to collaborate, explore, and contribute to make learning meaningful and accessible to all. I am impressed by how BrainPOP includes teachers and seeks their input before creating or releasing a product. Teachers are the experts and BrainPOP is great at collaborating with educators in the field/classroom.

What is one of the most memorable projects you’ve done with your class using BrainPOP resources?
My first experience with Make-a-Movie is probably one of my most memorable projects. In 2017, I was split teaching a first grade class and fourth grade class. I had completed the CBE program and was returning to the classroom after being out on maternity leave.

Upon returning to work, after looking at the data and conferring with my fourth grade students, I knew that we had to work hard to reach our goals. Focusing on the “three Cs” of technology implementation – creation, curiosity, and collaboration – after planning a Spanish Language Arts unit, I integrated a Make-a-Movie project and asked the students to complete the project in Spanish. It was a great learning experience for all! It reminded us all that working together still yields the best results.

How has BrainPOP impacted a specific student (or group of students)?
BrainPOP has a beneficial effect on all of its users regardless of age, gender, and learning preference/level. BrainPOP is the go-to tool for my students! They know how to access and navigate BrainPOP to their advantage. It has everything a learner can wish for when it comes to complex topics and units. The students use it as a learning resource to continue their education based on their needs and interests. It is a go-to for help or advancing during non-school hours. It has supported our goal in bridging the gap in learning.

How has becoming a CBE impacted you?
Becoming a CBE has inspired me to continue my professional development and helped me create opportunities for others to continue their learning. In addition, it has connected me with other educators globally. It has been one of my best professional decisions and I recommend others to give it a try. 

What are you most passionate about when it comes to education, technology, and your approaches to teaching?
I am most passionate about closing the opportunity gap in education, breaking the cycle of disadvantage. This is where being an Instructional Technology Coordinator and CBE has allowed me to share with others how technology can contribute to creating equity in the classroom. 

One of my biggest challenges at this time is tackling digital equity at my school. I would love for technology to be seen and used as an additional resource/tool when planning is taking place and not as something separate. There is still a disconnect of the role of technology in elementary education.

What’s on your BrainPOP wish list?
My wish is for BrainPOP’s favorite features (e.g., Make-a-Map, Make-a-Movie, and Creative Coding) to be available in Spanish. If not, for teachers to be able to select these features and assign them to their students when using BrainPOP Español.