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MAD-teacher Spotlight: Carol Gaughran, Patchogue-Medford, NY

“Not all superheros wear capes, some have teaching degrees.” – Unknown 

Sometimes, it is hard to put in words exactly how much of an impact a teacher has made in the lives of individuals and the community as a whole. That impact is highlighted especially during these pandemic times. We know that teachers and educators play a vital role in helping to mold young minds and encouraging students to challenge themselves on a daily basis. 

We are celebrating these superheros by letting them know that all their hard work does not go unnoticed. We hope that this MAD-teacher Spotlight blog series serves as a source of motivation for you and your amazing peers to keep going strong and make magic for your students. 

Carol Gaughran, a Library Media Specialist at South Ocean Middle School in Patchogue-Medford School District is one such (s)hero. She has been teaching for 14 years, currently teaches an Independent Research class for 6th graders, and has had her students work with MAD-learn twice this year. First, to demonstrate their understanding of the seals they researched during their 2nd quarter and to learn how to create an app and work in a shared space. Second, to share what they’ve learned about the Culper Spy Ring during the Revolutionary war – an app that was created remotely and asynchronously during school closures.

Although this is her first year using MAD-learn, Carol has used the program to help her students gain a better understanding of what it means to present to an authentic audience. It is heartwarming to know that she is sharing her MAD-experience with other teachers in order for more students to become future career-ready as well as creators of technology. She shared instances where one of the school’s Social Studies teachers used MAD-learn with his students to demonstrate their understanding of social issues facing teens today and another case of their English teacher who has students working together to create an app about Teens & Nutrition. According to Carol, she suggested that they try MAD-learn because her students were engaged, and she knew that theirs would be as well.  The Social Studies students each created their own app, and the English students worked collaboratively on theirs. Both models worked well. 

We are so proud of Carol and all her dedication in the virtual or in-person classroom to ensure that students excel!