Teacher of the Year
The Tahlequah District Professional Development Committee met on March 31, 2015 to select from three finalists the District Teacher of the Year and the Alternate District Teacher of the Year for 2015-2016. Congratulations to Lezlie Gilbert, Heritage Elementary Teacher of the Year for being chosen the Tahlequah Public Schools District Teacher of the Year for 2015-2016. Lezlie has been teaching since 2001 and has taught second grade in our district since 2006.
Congratulations are also in order for Tammie Paris, Central Academy Teacher of the Year for being chosen the Tahlequah Public Schools Alternative District Teacher of the Year for 2015-2016. Tammie has taught since 1998 in Tahlequah Public Schools in the role of Adult Basic Education Teacher. Tammie has been an educator since 1989.
All of the site Teachers of the Year, as well as the Teacher of the Year nominees should be honored for this recognition by their peers. Tahlequah Public Schools has a high quality of staff and the greatest teachers in the state of Oklahoma!
This past month, the main office administrators and I had the pleasure to meet with teachers from each school site. The focus of our meeting was to listen to the teachers describe the impact the Professional Learning Communities (PLC) within each school site have made during this school year. While the PLC groups can be organized in various ways--by subject, grade level or pods, their objective is the same, purposeful collaboration between team members to improve instruction for our students.
The time we spent together allowed us to see the excitement our teachers have for this collegial support and how the PLCs have improved student learning. We heard innovative ideas that improve instruction and ways they work together to get students excited to learn a needed skill.
PLCs provide allotted time to review data from student benchmark testing to guide instruction for future weeks. PLCs have promoted a trust between most teams where open and honest discussions about personal teaching strengths or a weakness, can prompt ideas and ways to support then gain the tools needed for ultimate success. PLCs are creative - they see a need and work together to find a solution. Elementary teachers restructure time at lunch to provide minutes of intense instruction in small coordinated groups with specific children to improve reading skills.
We celebrated the many successes and truly enjoyed learning about the joys of our district. This was also a time to listen to the needs of our teams and hear their goals for the coming school year. The time we spent will be valuable to help plan the professional development activities desired by our teachers. It was impressive to see the incredible dedication our teachers have to their students.