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Teacher of the Day

Name:  Janelle George

School:  Notus Elementary School

Subject: Reading, Language, Social Studies, Science, Math- 3rd grade

State:  Idaho

What or who inspired you to become a teacher?

My primary grade teachers were my greatest inspiration. I had chosen an aspect that I wanted to emulate from each of them when I became a teacher. My kindergarten teacher was a great artist, my first grade teacher took us on virtual trips. My second grade teacher played the piano. I loved learning cursive and multiplication in third grade and my fourth grade teacher took special care to let me know that I was important and special just as I was. I couldn't wait to be just like them.

How are things different for you now, compared to when you first started teaching?

When I first started teaching I was younger and it seemed my students were more mature. As the years progress, it seems that students know less and less when they walk into the classroom. It isn't because of the teacher before me, it's because of our culture. Each year education seems to be valued a little less; therefore, my job becomes even more important to me. I need to prove my value on a daily basis. We have less and are expected to do more.

What advice would you give to a new or struggling teacher?

I would advise them to put their heart into their job, find the thing that you are passionate and excited about. Students catch onto that passion and will join right in. If you are bored then they will be too. Also, a new or struggling teacher should always look for the good things that occurred during that day. That day may feel like a total disaster, but there is always something good you can find, celebrate, and build on that for the next day. The students want the structure you bring and they love to learn. Sometimes their lives get in the way and you get to help them see through the fog to the world outside of them. You get to be the one that shows them how much they are worth and how much potential they have.

My best day in the classroom was when…

the student that is on the verge of giving up has a breakthrough either behaviorally or academically. He or she has seen so little success that they are beginning to lose hope. Then it happens! They have an amazing day full of success, they did what they thought they were unable to do. They now have hope for the next day, for the next obstacle. They hold their head high and smile as they realize that someone is proud of them.

The best compliment I've ever received from a student or parent was...

"My child is excited to have you as a teacher." This may not seem like a big deal, but this child already had me as their teacher and I had high expectations. They received regular consequences for being out of line. Two years later, knowing what I am about, they are excited to have me as their teacher again.

What's your favorite part of the school year?

I love January and February. During those months we have gone over the hump of the newness of the year, we are all in a nice groove. We have also learned enough of the necessary information that we are building on it and expanding our minds. These two months are the most productive teaching months of the year.

What is your one must-have item for the classroom?

A document camera.

What do you eat for breakfast on school days?

I eat a vanilla protein shake with frozen strawberries. It gives me ample energy for the morning.

What movie or TV show do you secretly love?

Sweet Home Alabama.


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