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MDUSD Profile - Rosanne (Rosie) Reid

MDUSD Teacher of the Year

Rosanne (Rosie) Reid

Northgate High School – English, Academic Language Development, National Board-certified


How long have you been teaching?  And where have you taught?

I have taught for 16 years, first in San Francisco at John O'Connell High School, then at Piedmont High School, and finally at Northgate High School here in MDUSD for the last two years. 


What drew you to the field?

I love literature and I am a dedicated social justice warrior. I came to teaching to disrupt the status quo and to help those who are disenfranchised rise up. I think teaching people to read and understand the stories of others and to tell their own stories is one of the best way to achieve a more compasionate and just society. 


How did you feel about being named a District Teacher of the Year?   

I am so honored and so proud to represent MDUSD. Our district is implementing so many interesting initiatives and programs and I am proud to be a part of that and to represent such and innovative and exciting district. 


What do you find most rewarding about what you do?

I love watching the minute-to-minute growth of students. In so many jobs, one can toil away for years and never see progress on a project, but when you are a teacher, you constantly see your students grow. 


How would you describe your philosophy of teaching?

Many people feel that if you are working for equity, you need to essentially compromise rigor and dumb down the curriculum, but it is actually by teaching a rigorous course that all students grow. An easy class only perpetuates the status quo, as nobody learns much and those on top, stay on top. But when work is genuinely challenging and demands high levels of literacy and critical thinking, everyone grows.


What do you do in the classroom to collectively acknowledge and value the range of diversity among your students, while moving them forward as a group? 

I try to give options for choice and give prompts or tasks at a range of ability levels. I try to use differentiation strategies that don't hurt the stronger students, but really help those who struggle. I try to include a lot of structured student talk, so everyone can learn from each other. 


There is a stereotype that great English teachers are text maniacs – always reading, always interested in what others are reading, and always interested in finding a book for others.  How closely does this describe you?

I have always been a bookworm. My five kids have definitely slowed me down a bit, but my favorite thing to do when I have a minute to myself is read the next book. I keep a stack of books in the back of my classroom that I get from the library book sales and I'm constantly handing favorites out to students whom I think might enjoy them.


Describe a recent ‘a-ha’ moment where you saw a student make a connection to his/her classroom learning experience? 

My student Haley recently told me that she has started noticing all kinds of things about how girls and women are treated since she learned to apply a gender lens to texts and situations. As an athlete, she has realized that girls' sports are always secondary to boys' sports, and that most people tend to have lower expectations for female athletes. 


What are areas you want to delve into as a teacher to push yourself in the next year or so?

I want every single student to be and feel successful in my class and in school and general. Nothing less than 100% will ever be good enough, so I need to keep working at reaching every student. I am also excited by the possibility of piloting the first Gender Studies class in the district. 


What is the best thing you’ve read this year?  What are you reading now?

I loved A Little Life, by Hanya Yanagihara, but it is not for the faint of heart. It is very sad and violent and beautiful. I'm reading Exit West by Mohin Hamid now for my book club. 


What is something that may surprise people about you?

I have five kids ages 10 months to 14 years. 



Picture of Rosanne  Rosie  Reid, MDUSD Teacher of the Year Finalist 2017 2018
Picture of Rosanne Rosie Reid, Superintendent and Board of Education
Picture of Rosanne  Rosie  Reid, MDUSD Teacher of the Year Finalist 2017 2018  and child