Teamwork, collaboration, community, relationships, and service. These are the things that make a great educator excellent and what challenges an excellent educator to be outstanding.

Throughout 17 years of teaching, I have had the pleasure of serving on several committees, most of which I have acted as Chairperson or Co-chair. My previous school earned much-needed monetary support through several educational grants I wrote over the years, including our most recent “Garden of the Stars,” a sustainable school garden. I am dedicated to making my school district the best in our state, and doing my part, however large or small, is imperative to this goal.

My students and their parents are an extension of my own family. By attending students’ after-school dance programs and soccer matches, I can support my learners’ success outside of school (I look forward to learning more about hockey). The personal bonds I make with parents directly affect my students’ learning, and it is crucial to solidify these relationships of mutual trust very early in the school year. Other ways that I connect with parents is through weekly newsletters outlining our learning goals and any important upcoming dates. Parents and students enjoy browsing our class blog that is updated frequently with “behind the scenes” photos and commentary from activities and classroom events, and parents are regularly involved as class volunteers for reading, special activities, and group work.

MarvinMost of my past parent relationships have blossomed into deep friendships over the years. I find myself bursting with pride and excitement when I receive a high school graduation invitation in the mail or a former student comes back to say hello and grab a hug. For me, it’s not just about a nine-month teaching assignment—I’m in it for the long haul!