WITH LINDSAY PERRO
Hello and welcome! My name is Lindsay Perro and I am SO excited you’ve found me! I wanted to take a minute to share my story with you. How I came into writing content and why I continue to do so today.
I graduated from college in December and started into my first teaching position literally two days after graduation. I was hired into a 4th Grade classroom that hadn’t had a “real” teacher in two months. I walked into a stack of papers that needed to be graded the DAY before report card grades were due. I definitely was not someone who had a pleasant first year (or second year honestly) experience. After two years I knew I had to find something different. I had always loved math and felt like I needed to work with older students. I applied for and accepted a position as an 8th Grade Math Teacher in a nearby school.
The school I taught in was hard. Most of the students had hard lives – little to no parent involvement, a scary neighborhood situation, violence, etc. School was not a priority for many of them. After two years in 8th Grade, trying to teach Algebra 1 to students who hadn’t mastered 5th Grade Math skills, I sat down with my principal and shared my concerns. I wanted to make a difference and work with these kids but I had to work with them where they were at.
The next school year I was given the position of Math Interventionist for 8th Grade.
That’s when everything changed.
I didn’t have a curriculum and was basically told my instruction should mirror what was being done in the classroom but focus on the basic skills. I worked with groups of 6 students at a time for a semester. These students were “on the bubble”. They either just passed or just failed the state test the year before. In addition to not having a curriculum I also didn’t have any resources. I couldn’t use what the classroom teachers were using because the students had already seen those materials.
My two intervention co-workers and I started to create our own materials. It started as taking multiple choice worksheet problems and making them into coloring pages. Then I started taking worksheet problems and cutting them apart to make stations. Basically we took worksheet content and made them into anything BUT a worksheet. Our students started to ask for more. We didn’t just lecture and practice – because that wasn’t what they needed. I started keeping a running record (aka Word file) of my products. Born was my first Middle School Math Intervention Plan.
I left the classroom when my second child was born because I wanted to focus first and foremost on being a mom and secondly on growing a business that focused on pulling students away from the worksheet. I wanted to use the extra time I had to create resources that give teachers their TIME back. My store that started in 2009 with coloring pages and an intervention plan has now grown to include full year curriculum and grade level specific intervention resources – as well as a large collection of stations and more. I planned to return to the classroom when our second started Kindergarten, but a third baby came along in January of 2018 so if I’m able, I plan to take a few more years off.
So, that’s my story of my teaching journey and how Beyond The Worksheet came to be.