Emma Leacy: Making an Education Difference
I’m Emma Leacy, Solution Evangelist at Promethean. I am passionate about education and the impact technology can have on teaching and learning.
Like most teachers I have a library full of stories from my days in the classroom. Amusing moments that will make me laugh out loud, as well as those moments that remind me why I entered the teaching profession in the first place. My career began in a small primary school of 200 students in the UK – the kind of place where I knew the names of every child there—from the tiny 4-year olds in Reception to the 11-year olds in Year 6.
For the first couple of years I taught Year 3 – a year group often given to Newly Qualified Teachers. This year group is in that wonderful middle year–no longer infants, but not quite the “challenging” juniors of their more senior counterparts. Starting with Year 3 in a small school gave me the rare opportunity to teach the same class for a second time when I moved to teach Year 6. This was my most memorable year of teaching, because not only had I taught these children before, so there were fewer unknowns, but I got to see their growth and the results of the seeds that I, and of course others, had planted. To me, this was the ultimate inspiration. Members of that same class graduated from university this summer, and once again I was inspired by the young adults they had become, and that I had the opportunity to be a small part of their learning world.
I am in my ninth year with Promethean and feel privileged to be part of a company that makes an effort to understand the needs of teachers and students in order to create solutions to help them meet their goals. One of the ways Promethean does this is by employing people, like me, who have actually been in the classroom and experienced both the thrills and challenges that occur on a daily basis. My background as a primary teacher in the UK has paid dividends a million times over at Promethean, particularly in my current role. I present our solutions to teachers and administrators, collecting their feedback for our product and development teams. It is no secret that education is constantly evolving. Teamed with technology, you have an ever-changing environment, with unceasing new demands. My experience of “being in their shoes” helps me interpret and understand current needs. However, my eyes are wide open to the fact that there is always something new to learn and another initiative expected. Every day is a new school day!
I have traveled the world, and even had the opportunity to move across the pond to Atlanta, my home for the past 5 years. Yes, I am very grateful for the experiences. I do believe that being part of the Promethean family empowers me to make a difference in the lives of teachers and students around the globe. Whilst now, I’m not planting the seeds directly in the classroom, but I am confident that the solutions we provide support that process and success. Whether it’s through software that enables feedback, so that teachers can easily know when to differentiate instruction, or devices that support both whole class and personalized learning. Without question I love my job, but the regular contact I have with educators either using our solutions, or considering it, reminds me we serve a valuable education purpose.