Nardi Routten is the kind of teacher who does not allow her fourth-grade students to receive a failing grade. Rather, she will reinforce the lesson—before, after school and on the weekends—until the student has mastered the subject matter and ends up feeling a real sense of accomplishment. She exhibits an ideal combination of dedication, deep knowledge and genuine caring that marks her as a model educator.
In the classroom, Routten typically has students with a wide range of aptitudes. About one-quarter of them are special education students. Even with this challenge, Routten’s classes routinely score among the highest in her school and district. Seventy percent of students achieve a 3 (satisfactory) or better on a five-point scale in both Reading and Math on the FCAT 2.0, and 82% achieve a 3.5 or better in Writing. At the beginning of the school year, Routten helps her students set and stay on track with personal goals. Parents request to have their children placed in her classroom because they know she will be able to meet their child’s specific needs.
Routten’s impact extends beyond the classroom with her role as the fourth-grade team leader, membership on the reading, math and science committees and service to the school advisory council and PTA.
Routten also models being a lifelong learner. She is National Board Certified and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in reading from Florida Atlantic University. She has participated in professional development in many areas and willingly shares her newfound knowledge and strategies with fellow teachers. Routten is a leader in helping her school implement the latest evaluation models for effective teaching, and is a sought-after presenter and collaborator throughout the district. In fact, district officials will often record her classroom teaching sessions to showcase at school improvement meetings districtwide.
Routten is known to provide an encouraging environment where students can feel like superstars. A favorite activity in her class is the year-end celebration, when parents and community members view a DVD Routten creates to highlight the accomplishments of each student. Although designed to recognize student performance, what comes through in this moving annual tribute is how hard Routten works to ensure her students’ success.
Jan 12, 2015
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