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Emily Raper

7th Grade ELA
Cleveland Middle School
Cleveland, TN
eraper@clevelandschools.org

1. Name the key responsibilities in your current role
I am a 7th grade ELA teacher, and I also serve at the 6-8 ELA teacher-leader for my district. I teach 4 ELA classes a day as my "teacher" job, and I plan/execute professional development for 6-8 ELA teachers and work with my district curriculum supervisor for the "leader" part of my job.

2. Describe either your professional preparation, experience or achievements
I attended Lee University in Cleveland, TN and majored in middle grades education. I have taught 7 years at the middle school level. I have been honored to serve as middle school Teacher of the Year for my district in 2015, and I have loved serving on the board of AMLE since 2014.

3. Describe the biggest challenge you're currently facing in middle level education
Personally, the biggest challenge I am currently facing as an educator is refining my teaching ability with technology. I did not grow up with lots of technology in my schools, so teaching with technology was new to me; I had never seen it modeled for me. I also learned teaching pedagogy in my college classes, but it did not focus on teaching with technology. It is taking me a lot of research and personal professional development to figure out the best practices and ways that I can be the best teacher for my children. My children have so many other issues in their lives (hunger, mental illness, homelessness, social situations, etc.) that I want to make sure when they come into my classroom, they are getting the absolute best that they

4. Share what you do for fun when not in school
I enjoy spending time with my husband and 2 dogs. We enjoy hiking in the Cherokee National Forest, where we live, and I enjoy running as well. I direct our school spring musical, and I love working with my team to put on a great show with middle school kids!! My favorite pastime is pleasure reading—probably why I teach ELA! ;)

5. Tell us why you are a member of AMLE
I joined AMLE in college, and it was the best thing that I could have done. AMLE is the group that really solidified my calling to middle school. After attending my first conference in Baltimore and feeling the energy of thousands of middle school people, I just knew that this was the place where I belong. The resources that AMLE provides are great, and they help me in my own professional development, as well.