Alumna Profile: Tracey Garrett
Dr. Tracey Garrett GSE’05 hails from a family of teachers whom she followed to pursue a career in education herself, but what may surprise you is that she can also list app developer on her resume. Utilizing her experiences as a classroom teacher and her expertise in classroom management, Garrett developed “Classroom Management Essentials,” an app available for purchase on Apple’s iPad, iPhone, iPod.
“So many teachers struggle with classroom management,” said Garrett. “It is their number one concern when they get into the classroom.”
Garrett and her husband, a software architect, got the idea to develop “Classroom Management Essentials” while on a long car trip. “We are in the rise of mobile technologies and the decline of the textbook, so I had to think differently,” Garrett explained. The app, which has been sold on every continent, houses interviews with teachers, powerpoint presentations with voice overs, and multiple hours content. “It’s not a gimmicky little game app” but rather a “self-guided interactive professional development tool,” Garrett said enthusiastically. “It’s almost equivalent to reading a book but it’s much more engaging.”
Currently an associate professor at Rider University’s School of Education, Garrett knew early in her career she “wanted to teach teachers how to be teachers.” Garrett noted that GSE’s supportive faculty and the program’s perfect blend of teaching and research made GSE’s Ed.D. program a good fit for her. After leaving her job as an elementary school teacher, Garrett pursued her Ed.D. in early childhood and elementary education full time and began teaching as a TA.
“I was teaching my own classes, designing the syllabi, coming up with the course content, and teaching it myself,” she said. "I knew this was it. This is what I wanted to do and I loved it.”
Garrett continues to bring her love and passion for education to her classes, research, and speaking engagements. As for her flourishing app, reviews in the NJEA Review and the blogs Teaching Blog Addict and Organized Classroom have helped promote the app and led to an increase in downloads and visits to the website.
“The feedback we do get from the people who use it has been really positive,” concludes Garrett. “But getting the word out about the app is not easy. Marketing is the next step.”