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Shannon Nunnelly CGES

2016-17 Teacher of the Year
Shannon Nunnelly

Grade Level: Grade 1
Years of Experience: 11

Excerpt from Teacher of the Year application

To me, teaching is important because:

Teaching is important because of what students learn as they work together in the classroom environment.  Learning core curriculum is expected, but there is so much more to learn in combination with it.  The way I approach teaching will set the tone for my kid’s first school experiences. 

Early in my career I taught ½ day A.M. and P.M. Kindergarten.  I just thought I could do the same thing two times a day.  Why did this not work? Why didn’t my perfect lesson plan work the same in the A.M. and P.M.?  Through some frustration and self-reflection I learned I can’t fit kids into my mold of a lesson plan.  I can provide structure and accountability, but my teaching has to bend and mold to each group of kids. 

Parents have commented on my patience and desire to see each child as an individual.  This has been learned over time. I will always remember an especially difficult child I had. He changed me as a teacher for the better.  Over the years I have learned to really know each child and think through how I can help each one of them.  I must modify my teaching each year to fit with the children in my classroom.

Seeing each child individually is key, but I also must teach them to view our class as a unit.  We are a group that works together just like a family does. We must care about each other. 

Each morning for 11 years I have stood outside my classroom door to welcome my kids with a smile and a hug.  I welcome them to “our classroom”.

My hope is to set the tone of security and love at school.  The children in my classroom will hold onto this as they move forward in school.