School: Hudson Middle School
School System: Hudson Community Schools
Subject and Grade Level: Middle School English Teacher
Education: BA from Western Michigan University, ME from University of Illinois
Hobbies: Reading, especially historical fiction, traveling, spending time with family members, socializing with friends, viewing and learning about wildlife, particularly eagles
Family members: Saul (husband), Amanda (daughter), Elyssa (daughter), Julian (grandson), and Jacob (grandson).
How long have you been teaching: 42 years; 10 in Illinois and 32 in Hudson
The Thing You Like Most About Teaching: I love seeing my students experience success and enthusiasm for learning. There is tremendous variety in this profession and many surprises. I enjoy collaborating with my colleagues, sharing ideas, and trying out new ideas in the classroom.
The Thing You Find Most Challenging About Teaching: It’s challenging to keep up with all the new initiatives and technology being introduced and effectively using these innovations in the classroom. As a teacher of middle school reading and language arts and high school English, it’s also a challenge to evaluate all of the student work that pours in and return it in a timely manner.
Best Tip for New Teachers: Be sure you develop an effective classroom management style and be consistent and fair in your dealings with students. Establish high standards and hold students accountable. Carefully plan your lessons and know your content well. Be an expert in your field. Establish relationships with your students.
Best Tip for Career Teachers: Don’t get in a curriculum rut. Make changes, try new ideas, and keep things fresh. it’s good for you and your students.
Favorite Piece of Advice for Students: Never settle for less than your best. Preserve your personal integrity. Actively participate in your classes so you get the most out of your education.
What Being a Gold Star Teacher Means to You: I consider this to be a tremendous honor, and I am grateful to all those who thought enough of me to nominate me. Teaching is a labor of love, and it is a very challenging profession. the many good things we teachers do often go without recognition, but we continue because we love what we do, and we care deeply for our students and take pride in their accomplishments. This award is a wonderful way to end a challenging school year and my teaching career. I know many others are deserving of this award, and I am deeply honored to have received this recognition. I would like to thank the R.J. McElroy Trust and the Gold Star committee for honoring teachers.