Teacher Institute Q&A: Ashley Snider



How has the experience at the institute changed your teaching?

I used to be reluctant to rely on—or take risks with—technology. I now operate a paperless classroom and am constantly seeking new ways to engage my students with real-world-relevant skills and technology.

What new skills did you acquire at the institute?

I’ve always considered myself a teacher-learner, but the Teacher Institute broadened my views. I now look to Twitter and blogs to keep attuned to new ideas and find new resources. The experience taught me the benefit and relevancy of networking, sharing, and true collaboration.

How did your experience at the institute match your expectations?

Living in Raleigh with a spouse in the tech field, I knew about the impressive reputation of SAS. So my expectations were high. But the experience far exceeded those expectations. I’d enthusiastically participate again if given the opportunity.

Can you share a memorable moment from the summer?

A moment I will never forget was getting to go to the SAS “playroom” to look at products in the early stages of development. Getting to learn about, sample, and shape cutting edge technologies—that was a great privilege. As a teacher, I often feel frustrated that we’re trying to prepare students for jobs that don’t exist yet, so being able to glimpse some of what the future likely holds for those students was both enlightening and energizing.

How did you feel on your first day? Your last?

The first day was somewhat overwhelming. A number of thoughts ran through my mind: “I can’t believe I’m here. Why did they choose me? They’re paying me how much? We’re getting issued a laptop with all kinds of swag on top of it? I’m never going to remember all my coworkers’ names. I can’t believe Curriculum Pathways is available for free for students and teachers!”

The last day was bittersweet and included some uncertainty: “I wonder if they’re glad to see these crazy teachers go? What will future Teacher Institutes look like? What role will alumni play? I hope gave them a fraction of what they gave me.”

Why should someone apply to the Teacher Institute?

For the experience of doing rewarding work on first-rate Ed-tech products with a world-renowned company.  For a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the painstaking effort that goes into developing innovative resources that enhance learning. For the validation that teachers are professionals with expertise and contributions to make. For the opportunity to explore new resources, relationships, and insights.

Sum up the Teacher Institute in one word.


Want to join the 2019 Curriculum Pathways Teacher Institute? Applications are now open! 

Read more by Ashley: Hooked on HyperDocs: 3 Reasons to Create, Use, and Share and Teacher to Tech Transition


About Author

Tim McBride

Supervisor, Educational Multimedia Writing

Tim McBride has degrees from Rochester Institute of Technology and NC State University, where he taught English for several years. His first book of poetry, The Manageable Cold, was published recently by TriQuarterly Press at Northwestern University. He works as a writer and an editor on Curriculum Pathways. He lives in Cary, NC, with an American pit bull terrier named Charlie McCarthy and a Catahoula hog dog named Junk.

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