About the Authors

Erin R. Scholes

dino lusa photography            @dino.lusa

Erin R. Scholes,  a middle school educator since 2006, is the Innovation Coordinator at Beman Middle School in Middletown, CT. This is her dream job, working with middle level educators and students to innovate with technology and innovate what teaching and learning can look like and be.  She received her undergraduate degree from Illinois State University, holds a masters in Middle Level Education from Walden University, and most recently graduated from Fairfield University with a masters degree in Educational Technology.  The program at Fairfield helped Erin explore new ways to enhance learning and teaching with technology, while also helping her realize her love for teaching teachers.  Erin serves as a mentor for new and pre-service teachers, and is an International Society of Technology Education (ISTE) Certified Educator.  Erin is passionate about bringing the joy of learning to students and teachers while guiding them to be curators of their own digital content. 

Connect with Erin via Twitter @ScholesE15

James "JJ" Van Ess ,  currently serves as the Director of Academic Technology, in conjunction with teaching 7th and 8th Grade Math, at Fairfield Country Day School (FCDS) in Fairfield Connecticut.  He has been a member of the FCDS community since 2014; while having gone to the school as a boy.  Throughout his tenure at FCDS, JJ has held many roles; Marketing Manager, IT Technician, Math Teacher, Technology Teacher, Advisor, and more.   JJ received his undergraduate degree from Sacred Heart University, and his Master's in Educational Technology with a Certificate in Leadership in Educational Technology from Fairfield University.  While at Fairfield, JJ enhanced his approach to teaching by learning new styles of teaching while integrating technology and learning styles into his units.  JJ's favorite part of teaching is the relationships he forms with the students he teaches; he says "when they can relate to a teacher on a personal level, students tend to perform better."

JJ Van Ess

More From Erin and JJ

Two teachers create an online space, Tech4teachers.info, to help other educators reach their “roomies” and their “Zoomies”

An Article By Erin R. Scholes and JJ Van Ess, Published by the Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE)

Education Week Article written by Larry Ferlazzo with a contribution by Erin R. Scholes  "Roomies and Zoomies"

"Those first steps into a school building that you haven’t seen for a year are full of emotions; excitement, uncertainty, and a fear of the continued unknown. The truth is, you have so many of the skills you need to be successful in the hybrid model because you have been teaching remotely all year... Click to read more

Listen to Erin share her unique ways of building positive relationships with her students from the very first day that they walk in to her room. Hear how she develops this and creates a powerful sense of community and togetherness in her classroom. She shares her own personal growth journey from first deciding to be an educator and the different paths and turns that she has experienced along the way, and how she has always stayed open minded to deal with the ups and downs and new opportunities.