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Teacher of the Day

Name: Teresa Brown

School: Academy for Advanced and Creative Learning

Subject: 3rd grade math, 5th grade language arts, 3/4 combination homeroom/science/history

State: CO

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

1. Breathe

2. Remember that building relationships with your kids is the most important thing you can do. It'll help your classroom management take care of itself in the long run, leading to a much calmer and happier you.

3. Take LOTS of professional development, but be sure that it it applies to what YOU are passionate about and feel you want to learn more about. Learn something new every day!

4. DO NOT GRADE EVERYTHING! Some assignments are designed to monitor progress and can be looked over but not graded. Choose what you will use as assessment carefully and deliberately, and be sure it evaluates the skills that you are targeting.

5. PRETEST PRETEST PRETEST (well in advance of the unit you plan to teach!) It will make all the difference in the world to know what the kids already know and what they don't. It'll enable you to focus your teaching and enable them to learn something new!

6. Last, but not least, do not forget to take time for yourself. It's hard to set work aside sometimes, but you have to otherwise you will burn out and lose your passion. Teaching isn't a job--it's an adventure.

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

A very shy and quiet boy in my class this year found one of the first spring flowers on a bush outside our classroom. He picked it, taped it to a piece of paper, folded the top of the paper over it, and wrote "For You" on the front...and put it in my bag so I'd find it before I went home. An unexpected warm fuzzy!

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

Oh gosh...I did so many things BEFORE becoming a teacher, I can't imagine doing anything else now! I'd probably do something that involved educating the public though...maybe working for a non-profit to help others find work, homes, etc...

What is the most challenging part of teaching?

Letting myself go home at night without work in my bag...

My best day in the classroom was when…

Kids who NEVER worked independently required absolutely no redirection or intervention, and their work was STELLAR! I knew it was possible!

What’s your secret snack indulgence?

Hot chocolate powder.  I know it's gross and SO incredibly bad for me, but it reminds me of when I was little and I'd sneak a packet of it and eat it with a coffee stirrer when I stayed at my mom's office after school.


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