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Teacher of the Year Blog

 

Teacher of the Year Blog
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9/10/2017

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9/10/2017

We did it! The first week of school is already complete! How was your week, and how were you feeling on Friday evening? Like many of our students, I speculate that we were in bed early.
 
What was your favorite moment from the week? Take time to think about it, reflect, and enjoy that moment again. What made it special for you?
For me, my favorite moment of the week came Friday morning with a new student who we will call Johnny, for this blog. Johnny has these beautiful, brown eyes that shine brightly. He is a curious, active, and very busy guy who doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to the multiple activities of the classroom.

In my class, we begin every opening/circle time with the hello song, and then every child is provided an opportunity to say hello in their individualized way. I was encouraging Johnny to use his voice in addition to the voice output device as a reinforcer. I prompted him to say “hello.” He looks at me intently, but nothing. He then brings his head closer. We each take turns looking at each other and bringing our heads closer, and during this time I continue to encourage him to verbally say “hello.”  Finally, our heads are almost touching and we are still looking each other. I cease my verbal prompts, look at him, and give him my biggest smile- one can’t help but smile when you look at him because he is so cute! Almost instantly upon the big smile, he throws his arms up around me for what was surely one of the best hugs I’ve had all week. That hug was such a welcome and wonderful surprise!

And speaking of surprises…

I received one of the biggest surprises of my life this week….

On Thursday morning, I was at the table with all of my students for opening and I hear my classroom door open. I look over to see Ms. Canavan’s smiling face and she says, “Hello, how is your day going?” I say, “Great.” Then she tells me, “Well, it’s about to get better and walks in with Ms. Angela Morton, Dr. Susan Austin, Mr. Randy Geyer, Ms. Kim Marine, and Ms. Wanda, Ms. Pam (our school’s triple A’s – amazing administrative assistants), and Ms. Jillian Lader. She then announces that I have been selected as one of the seven finalists for Maryland’s Teacher of the Year.
Wow! Talk about a surprise! I am so very honored to be in the top seven, and please know that in this role as a finalist for MD teacher of the year, I will work hard to represent John Archer School and Harford County Public Schools. I understand that this is not just a title, it is role that serves as a reflection and representation of all the dedicated and passionate staff member of HCPS.

So as the representative, congrats to all of us! We made top 7 for Maryland! Hooray!
 
Photo credit: Jillian Lader