Dolores N. Mather Award for Language Arts Teaching
About the Award: This award celebrates elementary teachers from Prescott, Brownell, Elliott and Pyrtle elementary schools who demonstrate excellence in teaching reading, writing, and language arts - particularly when it comes to teaching individual students.
Amount Awarded: $1,500
Nomination By: Self-Nominated
Please describe how you show enthusiasm for teaching reading, writing, and language arts: I show enthusiasm for teaching reading, writing, and language arts in a variety of ways. In reading, I am always striving to meet all learners where they are. I currently teach the most intensive reading groups in 2nd grade with readers who struggle the most. I work hard to design lessons and independent work that they can feel successful with, while also expanding their reading skills. In writing, I try to show students what writers do through the use of daily read alouds. Students enjoy hearing the stories, learning about different genres, and seeing what good writers do.
What innovative techniques do you use to encourage and stimulate interest and learning for your students? One innovative technique that I have used to generate interest in writing is using advocacy as a means to encourage opinion letter writing. Students research a local topic where discrimination or bias has hurt an individual or group of people. They form their opinions on the topic through classroom discussion. Using opinion letter sentence starters, students are able to create a letter that can be sent to the city council, newspaper, or even the Nebraska legislature.
How do you demonstrate respect for students, their parents/guardians, colleagues, and other school and district personnel? I demonstrate respect for my students and families through an emphasis on positivity. I frequently send home good notes about academic growth and positive behavior. I document these contacts to ensure that I do it for each student in my classroom. I plan with my colleagues and take on some of the designs for assignments or printing for all of us. I collaborate with numerous people in the district on a variety of projects, including being social studies liaison and superintendent advisory council representative for my school.