• CENTER GROVE HIGH SCHOOL
    2014-15 Teacher of the Year

    Joe Lamb
         
    JOE LAMB
     
    Grade Level & Subject: 9-12, Biology and Chemistry
     
    Years of Experience: 5
     












    Excerpt from Teacher of the Year application
    To me, teaching is important because:
    John Dewey once stated, “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” To me, this quotation exemplifies the importance of teaching on all members of society. Education is not about memorizing factors or figures but helping each students develop a true understanding of who he or she is. Teaching is important to me because of the incredible opportunity to shape the lives of individuals in powerful ways that no other professional can. Teaching is a profession that extends far beyond the mere delineation of facts and ideas, but rather, an opportunity to be counselors, mentors, role-models, agents of change, and even heroes. The greatest teachers I experienced throughout my life were more than just content experts; my favorite teachers were inspiring, fun, strong, engaging, energetic, and passionate about the content and the process of education. These teachers taught me about life and encouraged me to explore my own passions; I take inspiration from these teachers and embed those concepts in my own educational practices. To me, teaching is important because it is an opportunity to shape the future of individuals who will play an integral role in the world. Such a position is an extraordinary challenge, but has provided some of the most rewarding and emotional fulfilling experiences of my life.

    To me, teaching is important because it can ignite passion in students to become life-long learners. Education is about the eternal search for the truth in the world. Teachers have the opportunity to inspire students to accomplish amazing feats. Teaching must go beyond the content, as we need to be preparing students for careers and opportunities that currently do not exist. Igniting that passion creates learners that can independently think and grow to meet the ever changing demands of society.

    Most importantly, teaching is about relationships. The relationship that is developed between a teacher and student can have a greater impact on that child’s life than any lesson plan or activity. There is no greater felling in the world than knowing that you have influenced a child in a positive way. Helping a child follow his or her dreams is the epitome of education; we want to help our students make decisions that are going to positively impact their lives. Building strong relationships is the key to being influential with kids.

    To me, teaching is important because it is the most important and influential profession in society, doctors, lawyers, engineers, scientists, and teachers were all inspired at some point in their life to work towards their chose profession. In many cases, teachers have been that inspiration. Additionally, these professions could not exist if teachers were not preparing students to take on these roles. To me, teaching is important because of the amazing impact we have on our students.

    Teaching is extraordinarily demanding and draining at times, but is also emotionally fulfilling and powerful work. I tell my friends that when I get up in the morning, I get to go to school, not work. I believe this sentiment is a commonality amongst all teachers. We truly have a unique and special profession, one that requires strength, patience, intelligence, and constant reflection. To me, teaching is important because teaching can truly reach and positively impact the lives of everyone in society.