Sarah Szymanski (CO ’18) was inspired to become an educator after watching her mother, a sixth-grade teacher, develop lasting relationships: “I realized that as a teacher you can effect change on a daily basis and become a lifelong figure in the lives of your students.”
As a first-year teacher, Linda Dishman (KS ’12) wanted everything to be perfect in her classroom. She quickly realized that her students didn’t care about perfection: “They loved learning and being at school.”
Kindergarten teacher Shelly Gaughan (TN ’18) never thought about becoming an educator until she spent a week teaching ancient civilizations to sixth-graders as part of a high school career discovery program: “I found myself intrigued with the challenge of making this content relevant and exciting.”
Katherine Bobby (PA '18) says her surprise Milken Educator Award notification has had a lasting impact on the way her students: “Without a doubt, the Award has heightened their appreciation of and respect for the teaching profession.”
Caroline Eschenbach (VA ’18) makes sure her third-graders know that they are a big part of her Milken Educator Award: “Teaching students who are passionate about learning makes me a passionate teacher.”
Librarian Jennifer Gordon (MA ’18) knows her enthusiasm for reading is contagious: “When I love a book, my students almost always end up loving it too.”
Classroom management is no easy feat with five- and six-year-olds, but kindergarten teacher Hailey Couch (OK ’18) is a master. Her secret: “If my students know that I love them and respect them, chances are they will give me the exact same respect in return.”
Michelle Johnson (RI ’18) loves hearing her third-grade English language learners (ELLs) testing their new language skills, “whether it’s asking to use the bathroom or for a new pencil.”
What's the best way to close the achievement gap and prepare students for high-paying jobs? Dr. Cindy Moss (NC ’01) says STEM education is the answer.
As Brett Kavanaugh's controversial Supreme Court nomination dominates the news and social media, social studies teacher Paula Franklin (TN '17) shares how she handles discussions of polarizing and sensitive current events.