Back in April, Learners Edge announced our first ever, Amazing Teacher Contest and we were overwhelmed with the nominations we received. Collectively, the nominations captured the essence of what makes a good teacher a great one — creative classroom teaching; connection with students for whom an exceptional adult role model makes all the difference; and an uncanny ability to push students beyond what they think is possible. Because of these fantastic nominations, Learners Edge will profile inspiring teachers throughout the year – teachers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in unique and exceptional ways.
One such Amazing Teaching Contest nomination was Katie Settimio. Katie is an 8th grade Math teacher in Ohio. Read below to learn more about Katie and the strong bond she forms with her students to help make a difference in their lives.
Why did you become a teacher?
I first decided that I liked math and then chose teaching because of my love of math.
How long have you been teaching?
What is the best teaching advice you could provide to new teachers?
Make sure you connect with your students on a personal level, students learn better from teachers that they have a connection with.
What is your favorite part of being a teacher?
I get to have fun and do what I love every day.
What keeps you motivated as a teacher?
Seeing the kids who come into my class with a negative attitude toward math in general and then being able to change their mindset and hearing them say that it’s their favorite subject after my class.
What is your most memorable student experience or favorite teaching moment?
I’ve had so many I can’t say just one, but bonding with my students is the most rewarding thing about my job. It’s not always fun being a middle school student so when the kids come into my class I want them to come in with a smile knowing they’ll have fun, laugh and learn all in one period.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your teaching experience?
It’s funny to think that I got into teaching because I was wanting to do math every day, and now the kids have changed me as a person. I love my job today mainly because of the kids I get the privilege to teach and interact with every day and the math is secondary. I think my love for the subject rubs off on the kids and they can’t help but enjoy it too.
Katie’s genuine care and concern that she has for each of her students is one of the primary reasons she was nominated as a 2017 Learners Edge Amazing Teacher and is evident through a few excerpts from her nomination form below:
“Kate is an awesome math teacher. I have worked in our district for 15 years and for the last 11 of those I have been privileged to work with her. She cares about each individual students learning. She takes the time to get to know about each student, their likes and dislikes, their future plans, and personalities. Each year she takes the time to write a personal note of encouragement before they take the AIR test in Math. She creates each card by hand, drawing a picture that she feels each student will connect with personally. For example, if a student has a fondness for Scooby-Doo then she personally draws a picture of Scooby-Doo on that students note. She rocks it in the classroom.”
“Kate’s students come back even as seniors and talk with her about their future plans, to get help with their high school math homework, or just to visit with her. Knowing that an adult cares about them and supports them is important for all of our students, but for some, it may be the only time they get positive attention from an adult.”
“Kate is the only teacher in the building who gives a state standardized test who takes the time to write each student an individual personalized note encouraging each student to perform at their very best. She also makes sure that every student has gum and some other sort of treat the day of the test. She spends a great deal of time creating these notes and drawing the pictures on them. Kate also spends a great deal of time personalizing homework for students who struggle in math. This year we had a student who has moved around a lot and had huge gaps in her math education because of it. Kate took the time to personalize her bell work, to help her close these gaps. She may not have gotten all the missed knowledge made up, but it has certainly helped this student make a great deal of progress towards being able to work at grade level in math.
“Kate is fabulous and in addition to all the works she puts into each individual student she also mentors new teachers and offers to help other Math teachers who need to increase their value-added numbers. She attends many after school functions to support the students and seems to have endless energy! She is an AMAZING TEACHER!! It would be awesome if she got the recognition she deserves, but would never expect!”
Thank you, Katie Settimio, for illustrating what it takes to be an amazing teacher and for your outstanding commitment to teaching and to your students!
If you haven’t heard about the Learners Edge Amazing Teacher Contest, you can learn all about it here!
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