We are excited to share a new original series that we’re calling Beyond the Classroom. The series was inspired by a Western New York teacher who is thinking outside the box when it comes to creating meaningful connections with her students beyond the typical school day. This teacher is Julie Perna. Ms. Perna is the Gifted Programming Specialist at Forest Elementary in Williamsville, NY, and she uses social media to reach, engage, and empower her students, and all of the students that she’s not able to work with directly each day, outside the classroom.
In each episode, Ms. Perna shares ideas to help teachers create connections and deepen relationships with students online using social media platforms such as Instagram or YouTube. The series is meant to spark creativity amongst teachers while also providing parents with a trusted resource to share with their elementary age students.
In this short three-part series, Miss Perna discusses how her “Maker Monday Challenge” encourages students to use their creativity to make projects that help build their sense of ownership in their work. She also explains how a snow day led to her at-home “Read Aloud” series. Finally, she shares how coaching J.V. lacrosse has helped her connect with high school students to build trustworthy relationships on and off the field.
We hope that you’re inspired by Ms. Perna’s work beyond her classroom.
About Julie Perna
Julie Perna, is a gifted programming specialist at Forest Elementary in Williamsville Central School District. She has been teaching for six years. Three of those years in the general education setting. In addition to teaching, Ms. Perna also teaches yoga at Power Yoga Buffalo and has been coaching girls lacrosse for seven years. She currently coaches at Williamsville South High School. Ms. Perna loves to teach, and inspire others through positivity and a growth mindset.
Favorite Quote: “When you can’t find the sunshine, be the sunshine.” (Unknown)