Noyce Scholar Profile
Benjamin David Legrand
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Theatre Media, Curriculum & Instruction
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: 2nd & 3rd Grade Math and Reading
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Master Teaching Fellow
Name of Noyce institution:
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
JPPSS - George Cox Elementary School
A trained bataclown and media integrationist, I am a biracial New Orleans native who serves as a lower elementary school teacher. I have my undergraduate degree from Tulane University, masters in education and currently working on doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of New Orleans. I enjoy creating multimedia learning modules to engage students to develop media technologies on core content. My students love using the iPads to record news stories on events happening in the community. From Reading Rainbow book reviews to solving a video word problem of the day, I enjoy fusing technology with student learning.
Why do you want to teach:
My goal as an educator is to facilitate learning in a caring environment that encourages discoveries and incorporates respect and the intrinsic value of the self. My goal is to guide students to take responsibility for their learning and encourage my students to be creative, intellectually curious and independent.
Each child is an individual with different learning styles and methods. Children need positive inspiration to achieve their own successes with an innovative curriculum and engaging lesson plans that stimulates learning through thinking. Tailoring curricula to fit the needs of each and every student is necessary to provide for the basic academic growth of the student.
Media is an incredible tool in educating our students. In a highly technological and fast-past society, we as teachers must stay on-top of societal trends to make learning more relevant to the students. Passive learning, especially in an early childhood and primary environment, is a style of the past. I believe in the resurgence of educational programming with shows that use interactive games and activities to encourage students and stimulate language cognitive, physical, social and emotional development at the primary level. At higher levels, students need programming to effectively stimulate cognitive and higher-order thinking while also relating society and its surrounding effects on a personal level.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
There are memorable teaching moments in every school year. In just this school year alone, a 5th grade autistic inclusion student would refuse to come to my classroom for reading inclusion time because he feared reading and had low self-image from years of non-inclusion. He would often have tantrums to be excluded. He performed academically on a 2nd/3rd grade level and he had a passion for video games and Wreck-It Ralph. I conferenced with him and discussed my own challenging journey as a developing reader and learner. Over the course of the school year, we talked through his self-image and set goals on his reading and math. He became a classroom leader in showing students the learner and workstation expectations. His confidence blossomed from “I’m not smart” to “I can try.” On his alternative assessments, he scored “exceeds expectations” in all content areas.
This student stands out in my mind because it shows how building healthy student relationships impact students learning. Even with the most exceptional student, it is important to understand the student where s/he is at in learning process in order to reach the individual.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
As a Noyce Master Teaching Fellow, I have grown in my professional practice through analyzing videos of my teaching. In completing my Take One entry for National Board Certification, I have grown as an educator in developing my assessments and lessons using a backwards design UbD model. Although teachable moments occur in my classroom, my students have benefited from more time to engage in deep content discussions with in-depth investigations.