In Oak Ridge Schools, we value the teacher assistants who assist student growth through supervision of on-going activities related to curriculum, organization of lessons, and preparation of materials for instruction. Last week, we introduced the candidates for our district-level winner for Teacher Assistant of the Year. Today, we are announcing that Hollie Allison of Linden Elementary School is our district-level winner of this award.
Linden Elementary: Principal, Roger Ward; Assistant of the Year, Hollie Allison
Hollie is a K-4 teacher assistant at Linden Elementary who runs seven reading groups throughout her work day. Students come to her with various reading levels and economic backgrounds. Hollie has been trained in the Fountas and Pinnell (F&P) guided reading structures and running records, and works closely with teachers to deliver high-quality lessons plans. Each week, she meets with teachers to discuss students’ growth and the standards that need additional focus. Mrs. Allison enjoys deepening students’ understanding and getting them excited about reading by enhancing the material with hands-on learning. For instance, when they read a non-fiction book about Thanksgiving or colonial days, she brings whipping cream so students can re-enact the churning of butter. Three times a year, Hollie participates in benchmark testing to assess the student growth. Her students consistently exhibit growth on the F&P and Star assessments. Hollie stated that teaching has been a rewarding experience that allows her to work with a variety of children and adults, both teaching and learning from them, and growing together. In addition to her classroom and lunch room duties, Mrs. Allison participates in a variety of school-related activities including Family Art Night, serving on the school leadership, hospitality, and caring adult teams, and serving as a cheer coach at Jefferson Middle School.
Hollie shared that she is part of the caring adult team (CAT) mentor program at Linden Elementary School. This was their first year piloting the program, which is designed to give every 3rd and 4th grade student an adult mentor. Mrs. Allison interacts with nine students daily, greeting them with smiles, bringing them notes of encouragement weekly, and helping them buy ice cream monthly. She often has a pizza party for the nine students together so they have an opportunity to eat with peers. If students in her mentor group are absent from school, she notices and lets them know they were missed. After spending quality time with these students, she has received appreciation from the students in the forms of hugs, pictures, letters, and e-mails of thanks. Hollie is hopeful this positive program will continue.