Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Awards’

Catherine teaches 6th grade English at M. Marcus Kiley Middle School in Springfield, MA.  She loves her job and adores the children. She tries to prepare them for life with an open minded, sociological, and democratic education.

As one of this year’s Pioneer Valley Teachers of Excellence Awards recipients, we asked her the following questions: (more…)

Read Full Post »

Paulette  is a reading and ESL teacher for grades K-6 at Conway Grammar School.  She works with a wonderful team of educators and has a supportive community.

As one of this year’s Pioneer Valley Teachers of Excellence Awards recipients, we asked her the following questions: (more…)

Read Full Post »

John Kislo with studentsJosh is an Instructor/Chef at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School in Northampton and a  graduate of Northampton High School, Class of 1977.   He himself earned a Culinary Arts Certificate from Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School in 1979 as well as a Bachelor of Science in Education/Occupational Education at Westfield State University in 1999.  He’s been a Culinary Arts Instructor since February of 1988.  Here are his responses to a few questions  (more…)

Read Full Post »

indexWe’re happy to share another profile of a recipient of the 2013 Pioneer Valley Teacher of Excellence Awards.   Jamie Lynn Lewinski, district ESL teacher for the Granby Public Schools, sent in the following responses, which reveal her dedication and commitment to making a difference in students’ lives.

Why have you become a teacher?  I chose to become a teacher to make a difference in my community.  Working with English Language Learners is extremely rewarding as it allows me to help a group of students who are at high risk for not completing their public education.

What keeps you enthusiastic about teaching, and where do you find your inspiration?  My inspiration comes from the diverse population of students that I teach.  Their families sacrifice so much and are faced with so many challenges.

Who has been a role model for you and why?  My great aunt always emphasized to me how important an education was.  She instilled in me the value of a college education and the importance of sharing knowledge with others.

What is a favorite classroom resources?  My favorite classroom resource is my iPad.  I’ve just begun tapping into its potential use in the classroom but the students are already loving it.

How do you try to keep a balance between the demands of your professional and person life?  I have trouble keep a balance because the relationships I build with my students and their families become very personal, which blurs the lines between my professional and personal life.  I best serve my families by being available during non-school hours.

If you could change just one thing in education today, what would it be?  It’s still frustrating to me that there never seems to be enough money to provide adequate services to our children.  If we short change our children, we shortchange our future.

Read Full Post »

SKMBT_C55413082011080_0001We’ve been privileged to share the profiles of recipients of the Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Awards.  Here, in our last profile of the summer, are the responses of Rita MacInnis, first grade teacher in the Williamsburg-Hampshire Regional School District.  We thought that  her love of her work made her profile especially appropriate since we just celebrated Labor Day.

Why have you become a teacher?  I always wanted to teach, from the time I was young.

What support did you receive, or wish you had received, early in your teaching career?  My husband, also a teacher and administrator, was always my mentor and supported me through jobs, job interviews and all teaching experiences.

What keeps you enthusiastic about teaching, and where do you find your inspiration?  I love my job!  I love greeting my smiley students each morning.  I want to do everything I can to ensure their love of learning and to support, nurture and enrich their school experience.  They are my inspiration.

Who has been a role model for you?  My husband, Tim Luce.

What is a favorite classroom resource (e.g., website, lesson, activity)?  I enjoy the resource, Mailbox magazine.  I also use the internet and Pinterest for current ideas.  Fountas and Pinnell phonics is a program I use and recommend as well.  To gain my first graders’ attention, I often raise my hand and say, “5 —  eyes are watching, ears are listening, mouths are quiet, bodies are still and hearts are caring.

How do you try to keep a balance between the demands of your professional and personal life?  It is definitely easier now that my children are grown, but I always made time to go to their after-school activities and games.  On weekends I would enlist their help to make games or charts and to help me in the classroom.  I have found that if I am well prepared for school each day, then I am less stressed, and I am a happier wife and mother.

Read Full Post »

indexPamela White teaches business and technology at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.  One of this year’s recipients of the Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Awards, she got hooked as an educator when first serving in the U. S. Air Force.

What motivated you to become a teacher/educator? I’ve always had an interest in education and became hooked after becoming a Training Manager in the Air Force working to provide quality training to airman.

What support did you receive, or wish you had received, early in your career?  A stronger program to help mid-career professionals transition to the teaching profession.

What keeps you enthusiastic about teaching/education, and where do you find inspiration?  Our school district is open to developing curriculum to support the ever-changing, technology-based applications and workforce requirements.

What do you find helps you to effectively interact with students?  Develop “fair” practices in the classroom; and listen to students.

How do you try to balance the demands of your professional and personal life?  Although, we live outside the school district, my family is very supportive by attending CCHS sporting events or academic activities during the school year.

If you could change just one thing in education today, what would it be?  Ensuring Consistent Practices.  Students thrive on fairness, routines and equitable reward or discipline.

What is some of the best advice you’ve been given? Or what is a favorite quotation?  A veteran teacher once told me that “these aren’t your own children, but they need you just the same.”

Read Full Post »

indexOur educator profile this week is of Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Award recipient Karen Chouinard-Sheedy, who teaches cosmetology at William J. Dean Technical High School in Holyoke, MA.  You can hear her dedication to and appreciation of teaching in her responses to the following questions.

What motivated you to become a teacher/educator?  I started out as a professional in the cosmetology trade.  Throughout my years working behind the chair, I had the opportunity to educate my clients about their hair and skin needs.  I wanted to expand my horizons and decided to go back to school and become an educator in my field.

What support did you receive, or wish you had received, early in your career?  I was very fortunate to have a great mentor when I began my career at Dean Tech High School.   Her name is Sandie Longpre, and she was running the Cosmetology Department at Dean when I arrived there. She inspired me to become the instructor that I am today.

What keeps you enthusiastic about teaching/education, and where do you find inspiration?  Through the years, so much has changed in education and hairstyle trends.  It is both exciting and challenging to keep up with the rigouous needs of both DESE and the Industry.

Do you have a favorite resource, website, lesson/activity that you’d like to share?  Because of the nature of the subject that I teach (cosmetology), I am constantly including differenciated activities to present the frameworks of the technical program.

How do you try to balance the demands of your professional and personal life?  I am at the point in my life where the demands of my personal life are minimal.  My family is grown, and many of the responsibilities that go along with a growing family are no longer an issue.  This gives me more time to plan lessons and attend professional development activities.  I also work as a graduation coach and mentor in my building.

Read Full Post »

indexThis week we’re profiling Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Award recipient Nicholas Bernier, who teaches seventh-grade social studies at Agawam High School.   As you’ll read in his responses to questions we posed to him this spring, Nicholas knows the importance of nurturing positive relationships with students and reflecting honestly about his practice.

What support did you receive, or wish you had received, early in your career?  I received all of the support I could ask for from my colleagues and principal at St. Mary’s Academy in Longmeadow.  I worked closely with teachers there and learned the in’s and out’s of the profession that one cannot learn in college.

What keeps you enthusiastic about teaching/education, and where do you find inspiration?  Seeing students grow into young adults, become more independent, and discover things about the world is very inspirational.  Being a part of that keeps me enthusiastic.

Who has been a role model for you and why?  My parents gave me all of the tools that I needed to succeed and taught me how to have a good work ethic.  For this, I would consider them to be role models.

What do you find helps you to effectively interact with students?  Forming positive relationships is a good start.  Also, when any sort of negative interaction occurs, ensuring that it is discussed and fixed so there can be closure and the student knows that there is no grudge.  Younger kids sometimes think that when one thing happens, then you dislike them for the rest of the year.  It is crucial that they know that all is well between you.  Also, caring goes a long way.  A student can sense who cares about them like a dog can sense fear.  If a student feels cared about, they will work hard for you and you will get along great.

What is some of the best advice you’ve been given? Or what is a favorite quotation?  My mentor teacher, Lesley Brodeur once told me that in teaching, you will often question things that you do or how you may have handled something, but if you can go to bed at night and put your head on the pillow and know that you have done a good job, that’s all that matters.  If you are honest with yourself when you reflect, you can continue to become a better teacher.

Read Full Post »

FaCET-logo_300x300David Ranen teaches chorus to grades 7 and 8 as well as music to grades 9-12 in the Amherst Public Schools.  Here are some of David’s responses to questions we asked him after he received a Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teacher Award this spring.  As you’ll read,  he reveals two  key components of effective teaching – respect and understanding.

Who has been a role model for you and why?

I would have to say that I had three role models:

1) Mr. Box- My HS English teacher.  He was also my Track coach and Senior Class Advisor.  He was a selfless educator who I said I would want to be like if I ever decided to teach.

2) Jessel Murray –  A colleague for many years.  We were able to share successes and failures without feeling that you were being judged by the other person.  A consummate educator who was also humble in his approach with his students.

3) Daniel Brown – My pastor.  Dan taught me to believe.

What do you find helps you to interact effectively with students?

The culture in my classroom is built around two simple words: Respect and Trust.  I begin each school year presenting this to my students and keep it going throughout the year.  Once students feel that it is real and that you walk the talk then they can buy into it and fully trust it.  This is good for kids.  Students will always test the bounds and they should.  It is my job to be consistent and FAIR and never show favorites.  This does work and you will be able to reach most students most of the time.

What is some of the best advice you’ve been given? Or what is a favorite quotation?

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”. – Eleanor Roosevelt

Anything else you’d like to add?

Former students always ask me if the students of today are “harder,” different than students were 20 or 30 years ago.  My answer is always, “No, a 13, 14, or 15 year old today is the same as they were in the late 1980’s just their toys are different.  The rubrics cube has been replaced by the iPod or cell phone.  Students still need to be treated respectfully while at the same time have clear limits set that are consistent for all.  We live in a world that is confusing, chaotic and at times scary to kids.  We as educator’s need to make the school house safe, clear cut, consistent, and a place for all to learn not just not just the three R’s but Music, Art, Home Economics, Tech Ed.  and Drama.

Read Full Post »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 95 other followers