Michelle Carton | Movers & Shakers 2019 – Educators

Until age nine, Michelle Carton couldn’t read. In and out of foster care, she attended 13 different schools, and educators labeled her a lost cause. But her fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Abe, helped Carton realize her value, made her an able reader, and gave her dreams and ambitions she hadn’t known were possible. Paying that forward, says Carton, “it became my mission to provide all students with…ideas and concepts they may never otherwise [encounter].”

Michelle Carton

CURRENT POSITION

Elementary Library Media Specialist, Tudor Elementary School, Anchorage, AK

DEGREE

MA, Innovative Education, Alaska Pacific University, 2011

HONORS

School Library Journal Champion of Civic Engagement, 2018; BP Teachers of Excellence, 2014

FOLLOW

@AKGlobalTeacher, @Tudor_Library; globaleducationak.org; youtube.com/watch?v=JNHrZ0ZQ2So

Photo ©2019 Matt Lawrence Photography

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Bringing the World Closer

Until age nine, Michelle Carton couldn’t read. In and out of foster care, she attended 13 different schools, and educators labeled her a lost cause. But her fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Abe, helped Carton realize her value, made her an able reader, and gave her dreams and ambitions she hadn’t known were possible.

Paying that forward, says Carton, “it became my mission to provide all students with…ideas and concepts they may never otherwise [encounter].” Since arriving at Tudor Elementary School (TES) in 2015, Carton has connected her students, who hail from many different backgrounds, to perspectives beyond their own through the Young Global Citizens (YGC) project. Carton’s students codesign their own global learning through reading about other cultures, holding online conversations with international classrooms, creating multimedia presentations, and sharing peace art, songs, stories, and pledges. Since its inception, TES’s K–six students have interacted with more than 3,900 students in 23 countries via social media, Skype, and the International Education and Resource Network.

The project has also been adopted by K–12 schools and won the Follett Challenge Award in 2018 for most innovative library program. Follett president Nader Qaimari, a nominator, says Carton “is devoted to getting her message of global  understanding out to as many people as she can. She works beyond her library but keeps [it] front and center.”

 

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