Gail Robinson: Making Slow, Continual Growth
Updated: Apr 14
Gail Robinson of Benfer Elementary School originally had her own daycare so she could be home with her children. Once her children started school, she moved into a long-term substitute position so she could work and still be able to be home. However, after she started subbing, she fell in love with the profession and has taught full-time for the last 17 years!
When Gail Robinson calls herself a “forever learner,” she truly means it. From TikTok videos to professional development seminars, Gail is constantly keeping up with the latest developments. She looks for things that, in her words, “continually challenge me, so I’m ready for my kids.”
In her classroom, Gail emphasizes routines and procedures. Through word walls, anchor charts, visuals, and a host of other resources, Gail creates an environment where students of all abilities have a routine on which they can count. “When they come in, in the morning,” Gail said, “I always have my agenda for the day on the board. It cuts down on some of the chaos and interruptions.” These agendas are not set in stone though. Gail is flexible and recognizes that all of her classroom plans can and will change because of the changing needs of her students.
This flexibility allows Gail to meet her students where they are. “In my class, I have kids that are GT, and I have kids not performing on grade-level,” said Gail. Goals are a big part of this process and she encourages students to aim at what is achievable to build up their momentum. “Let’s be realistic when we’re setting goals,” said Gail. “If a kid is making a 50 on a test, let’s be realistic. Can they make a 100? Maybe, but let’s start by aiming for a 60 and boost their confidence.”
Gail understands that all her students are unique. Not everyone in her class may be turning in straight A’s, but they all can make slow, steady progress as the year goes on. “Making sure they make at least a year’s growth – that’s what I want to guarantee them and the parents,” said Gail.
Photos courtesy of Gail Robinson