“I have worked with Jerrod for 3 years now, and I have found him to be not only a phenomenal teacher but a phenomenal coworker and mentor. As the grade-level chair, he is committed to making sure the other 1st grade teachers have the knowledge and the tools to be the best educators they can be. He is a leader in the classroom as well as in the school as a whole.” —Emily Hone, Nominator
December’s Teacher of the Month, Jerrod Haack, was nominated because of his fun and innovative teaching strategies, but he had never used Boom Cards before! We asked him some questions about teaching, then had him experiment with Boom Cards and share his thoughts!
How long have you been teaching and how did you get started?
This is my 10th year of teaching. I was a preschool teacher at a daycare center and fell in love with teaching.
Why do you think you were nominated?
I hope that I was nominated because I am a mentor to my fellow first grade teachers.
What makes first grade fun to teach?
First grade is an incredible year for students. They are starting to feel like “big kids,” but still maintain a level of innocence. They are finding their way as readers, and math concepts start to click! It’s such a fun grade!
What are some of the traditional (non-digital) resources you use with learners?
I use a lot of traditional resources like sound boxes, letter tiles, and unifix cubes.
What unique strategies do you use with your students?
I try to use strategies that fit each students needs. I work very hard at the beginning of the school year to determine what kind of learner each student is, whether it be visual learner, auditory learner, etc. I then try to tailor each lesson to cover all of the different types of learners.
How do you feel about interactive curriculum?
I love interactive curriculum. Students need to be able to be a part of the process and be engaged.
How would you use Boom Cards in your classroom?
Boom Cards look fun, interactive, and engaging. I like that they are self-correcting. I would use them in stations.
[Note: Since Jerrod works hard to understand each student’s learning style, he can use that information to assign different Boom Cards decks based on learning style! Differentiation is easy within the platform.]
What advice would you give to someone who is new to teaching?
Make time for yourself. Don’t get burned out.
What advice would you give to a teacher who is about to retire?
Cherish the moments, and soak it all in. Be proud of what you’ve accomplished.
What advice would you give to yourself if you could send a message back to 2019?
Find a work/life balance. Take breaks, and use your lunch to eat!
What advice would you give to parents who feel like their children are struggling with learning loss due to the pandemic?
It’s okay. They will “catch up” in their own time. Love them. They are doing their best. Everyone’s timing is unique.
What do you most look forward to about teaching?
I look forward to working with a great team and instilling a love of learning in my students.
Do you have any words of encouragement for other educators?
Encouragement—everyone is struggling in their own way. It’s okay. Your best is all you can give.
If you want to nominate a teacher of the month, email BoomLove@boomlearning.com.