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Teacher of the Day

Name: Emily DeCarlo

School: James River High School

Subject: Special Education

State: Va

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

I would tell a new teacher to keep going and not give up in spite of what you think you see or are expecting. For example, when students seem to be getting sleepy or lethargic in my classroom, I call out, "Wake up time!" They know that this means to get up out of their seats and stand up in preparation for my brain/body activities. I give them verbal directions such as "touch your head with your right hand." This will go on for about three minutes. This gets the seratonin flowing and pumps them up to get back to work.

What’s the nicest thing a student or colleague has ever done to help you?

A graduating senior once wrote me a note saying how much I had helped him during his four years of high school, despite my only teaching him once.

If you weren't a teacher, what would you be doing?

I would be a guidance counselor so I could help students explore all of the wonderful possibilities and choices available for them to have a phenominal life.

What is the most challenging part of teaching?

All of teaching is challenging, but I love every moment of it.

My best day in the classroom was when…

a student was trying to be a comedian and making smart remarks did a 180 degree turnaround after I beckoned him to come with me outside the classroom to hear one of my "reverse" talks. To his surprise, I did not scold him. I told him that one day he couuld make money writing copy or television commercials. I told him that I actually admired his wit and that one day I might see him on stage. This seemed to get the point across that I actually liked him, and from that day on, he worked really hard and even made a B in the class.

What’s your secret snack indulgence?

I love to go to McDonald's at night with my daughter and get a hot fudge sundae and three cookies for a dollar.

What TV show are you most embarrassed about loving?

"Little House on the Prairie"

What was the last (non-academic) book you've read?

"Edible Gardening." 


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