I don't think I understood what an instructional coach really was until Mayra became my coach. I have taught in several districts that afforded me the opportunity to learn and collaborate with instructional coaches. In the past, my coaches would critique my lesson plans and analyze my student data. Mayra was different. She took the time to sit down with me and really dive deep into my curriculum, while guiding me to make self realizations that I never knew were possible as a teacher. She encouraged me to see things through the eyes of my students and instill in them the love of reading I have. Mayra changed me as a teacher and encouraged me to take risks in the classroom to benefit my students. I wish I still had her by my side today coaching me along, but I know that what I learned from her will stay with me throughout my career.
Mayra is an exceptional literacy coach. In all of our planning sessions together, she would listen to what I needed and facilitate learning experiences to support me in my endeavors. Whether it was teaching me how to lesson plan, map out units, assess student learning, or analyze data, Mayra met me where I was at. The thing I love most about working with her is she doesn’t just guide you to come to conclusions on your own, she teaches you best practice along the way! Mrs. SaBell has helped me become the best version of myself in the classroom, and she is still someone I seek out any time I need support.
I was fortunate enough to be coached by Mayra during the 2019-2020 school year. It was my first year teaching a new content area and a new grade level. We began planning together mid-year and it was like no planning day I had ever experienced before. I quickly learned that these are not just planning days; they are the most beneficial professional development experiences I have ever received. As a teacher in a new content area, it was easy to become overwhelmed in planning. When I started planning with Mayra, I left each session with scripted lesson plans and graphic organizers designed to target the needs of my students. We utilized the curriculum to guide our planning and were intentional about using rigorous activities. Mayra taught me to structure my lessons to follow Sheltered Instructional practices to benefit all students. I have never met a person with so much knowledge about Literacy and how to grow kids. The commitment Mayra has to growing students and teachers alike makes having her as a coach a one-of-a-kind experience. As I once again started a new year in a new content area and grade level this year, I was able to approach this new position with confidence because of the content knowledge and best practices I learned from my time working with Mayra. The opportunities I was provided with to learn and grow in my job as a literacy expert was an incredible opportunity, and if given the chance, I would do it over and over again.
I was lucky enough to have Mayra SaBell as my Literacy Coach after returning to work as a 4th grade teacher. I'd stopped working for 7 years to have my babies, and when I rejoined the classroom, I realized just how different the teaching world, especially the literacy world, had become. Mayra took the time to make sure I understood the fundamentals of teaching reading. Gone were the days of whole group lessons, work sheets, and round robin reading; welcome to mini-lessons, anchor charts, BAS tests, and guided reading groups! I am ever-thankful Mayra took the time to teach me how to manage a guided reading group, how to take anecdotal notes, how to conference with my students, and how to help them grow as readers. She absolutely helped me move into the current world of teaching, and I would not be successful had it not been for her coaching. I still use Mayra's anecdotal notes form 6 years later! I loved having her as my Literacy Coach and will always be thankful we were Roadrunners together.
I've had the pleasure of being mentored by Mayra as a student teacher and once I began my teaching career. Her love for teaching and literacy is contagious. Every part of her lessons and planning are tailored for students to be successful. I was able to learn so much from her about creating a safe learning environment and building meaningful relationships with students. Every piece of advice that she has ever offered is something that she truly believes in. After 8 years of teaching I still think back to the experiences and knowledge I have gained from her.
The opportunity to be mentored by Mayra has been one of the best experiences and training I have ever been fortunate to be a part of. Mayra's knowledge and training approach made my 2nd year as a third grade teacher one of the best years as an ESL teacher. I learned how to create a lesson plan to fit my students' needs. I gained knowledge and found purpose on the development of content and language objectives. Creating the best learning and functional environment for my students was an extra bonus.