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Throughout the year, Teacher in the Spotlight will shine the light on teachers and staff who do exceptional things
for our students and go above and beyond each and every day.


The spotlight is on Patti Andersen!


Patti Andersen in classIt may have killed the cat, but when it comes to students, curiosity is a key factor in keeping young learners engaged and ready to learn. A teacher in a “curious classroom” doesn’t suppress movement, doesn’t shush conversations and never discourages the use of technology.

Monticello Central School District teachers are constantly finding innovative ways to use the latest technology in the classroom, and among them leading the charge is Patti Andersen, a third-grade teacher at Emma C. Chase Elementary School. She’s known throughout the district for her creativity in merging technology and academics to instill a sense of curiosity and a strong desire to learn in her students.

“Patti is a valuable resource who passes on her knowledge to our staff and faculty,” Emma C. Chase Principal William Frandino said, describing her as the school’s “squeakiest wheel” and “biggest proponent” for leveraging technology in the classroom.”Patti Andersen with students

Mrs. Andersen weaves technology into traditional lessons and plans activities around her students’ interests and preferences to ensure that they are constantly engaged and challenged.

“It’s no secret that curiosity makes learning more effective and enjoyable,” she explained “Having technology at a students’ fingertips encourages them to actively seek out the answers to their questions.”

She enjoys having her students utilize iPads in the classroom as she finds it to be an excellent way to nurture her students’ curiosity. When a lesson progresses, and a student finds himself asking more questions, an iPad enables him to explore the subject in more depth.

Educational apps such as Omso and MobyMax enhance the students’ experience. These apps offer online personalized learning resources that are aligned with Common Core standards in math, language and reading. Mrs. Andersen’s students have become so familiar with their apps, that they are confidently able to teach it to their younger peers.

Patti Andersen with students“My students are currently teaching the first graders how to use Osmo,” she said. “It’s showing me that they are really learning and absorbing the material. Teaching other students brings out a whole new side to them because it involves communication and carefully constructed words and thoughts.”

Although technology in the classroom is most certainly an effective element of a “curious classroom," she notes that it’s important that technology is used to complement a traditional lesson, not replace it.

“Technology has the ability to add value to classroom material,” she said. “It lends itself to all levels of learners, but some still prefer pen to paper. Today’s students are growing up in a world surrounded by technology, so it’s good for us as teachers to be able to give them that choice.”


Congratulations, Patti!


We applaud you for being greater than the average!