PLEASANT GROVE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
2016-17 Teacher of the Year
SARAH PAGESubject and Grade Level: Special Education, K-5
Years of Experience: 4
Excerpt from Teacher of the Year application
To me, teaching is important because:
Teaching is important to me because I feel it is the profession where I can make the most impact. Being a special education teacher, I do not always feel like I am "teaching" each day. What I am doing, I believe, is much more important. Some days, I put out fires by dealing with situations, barely keeping my head above water with the different needs of all of my students I work with, and those are the days that I feel I make the biggest contribution as a teacher.
Teaching is important to me because I am able to create an environment that is a safe haven for each of my students. First, I believe it is important to build my relationships with my students before any learning can possibly take place. I want my students to see my assistants and me as people they can feel safe and loved by because we do love and care about every one of them.
I want my classroom to be a room they can go to when they feel discouraged, overwhelmed, or just sad. For me, teaching isn't all about the standards, the assessments, and Bloom's taxonomy. For me, it is about making sure students' Maslow's needs are met first so then learning can take place. We work diligently to ensure our students have had enough sleep, enough to eat, and enough love so they can be successful while they are trying to learn. Once we earn their trust in meeting their basic needs, incredible things happen in my classroom as well as the general education classroom.
In closing, it is my privilege to be a teacher in Center Grove School Corporation. Each day, I witness my students grow and inch closer to achieving their future dreams. Nelson Mandela is quoted as saying, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” That is a very courageous statement but I know it to be true. I am blessed to see the “world” of my students changing each day. I am the fortunate one.