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 — creativeclassroom teaching; connection with students for whom an exceptional adult role model makes all thedifference; 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 andbeyond the call of duty in unique and exceptional ways.
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 nomination was an Amazing Teacher Contest finalist, Patrick Callahan. Patrick is a 6-8 Phy-Ed Teacher in Hingham, Massachusetts. Read below to learn more about Patrick and his remarkable ability to connect with students and make a difference in their lives.
Why did you become a teacher?
I always wanted to work with kids. Teaching and coaching is just something I knew I was going to do growing up.
How long have you been teaching?
What is the best teaching advice you could provide to new teachers?
Be fair and firm in your classes, but know the differences in your kids lives.
What is your favorite part of being a teacher?
What keeps you motivated as a teacher?
The kids and people I work with.
What is your most memorable student experience or favorite teaching moment?
Seeing the Physical Education classes work so well with the special education students.
Patrick’s ability to connect with his students is one of the primary reasons he was nominated as a 2017 Learners Edge Amazing Teacher and is highlighted through a few excerpts from his nomination form below:
“Pat Callahan and I teach physical education together. We have been team teaching for over 12 years. Pat is always focused on the students. The special-education students steal his heart. He truly loves working with the kids who struggle the most with athletics. During one class, Mr. Callahan saw a particular male struggling with the class’s activities. It would have been easy to look the other way or have the boy’s aide help the student. But that’s not Mr. Callahan’s way. He took the boy over to his side encouraged him to try serving the volleyball. The male student tried and tried and still no success on the court. And then finally it clicked, he served the ball for a point. The crowd went crazy, they cheered and clapped. A smile and confidence were formed on a boy’s face. All because one teacher didn’t say “next ” and move down the serving line.”
“Patrick Callahan surrounds himself with children that struggle with their academic and social worlds. He has a special and unique gift with our special needs students. In over 30 years of teaching, I’ve never seen a non-special needs teacher connect with students like Pat does. Each one of these students gets a special greeting and (has) a unique relationship with Mr. Callahan. They seek him out each morning. They truly believe they’re his favorite student. The grins are ear to ear. Mr. Callahan’s magic ways allow him to get the most from these kids. They run, jump and play harder for him. They feel safe, special and included. His actions are subtle, yet substantial. As a veteran teacher, I look at Mr. Callahan with such amazement; his energy, his consistency, his love of teaching are all admirable qualities for teachers young and old.”
“So often when teachers are selected or nominated (for awards) they come from the traditional academic subjects like math, science or social studies. Rarely do you hear about the teachers from the elective classes. Classes that are usually bigger, crowded and less funded. Physical Education is often the forgotten and joked about class. But Mr. Patrick Callahan’s class is the exception. Where else will you see 60 kids with sticks and pucks in complete control having fun and exercising? Young boys and girls equally enjoying the activity. This young, energetic teacher, Mr. Callahan takes it all in stride and smiles through each day making each student feel special and important.”
“In this fast and competitive age so many people put emphasis on winning and being the best in the classroom and playing fields. Our students are often overscheduled and overworked in their activities. How nice it is to see a teacher put the focus and emphasis back on what’s really important making young people feel good about themselves regardless of their abilities.”
Thank you, Patrick Callahan, for illustrating what it takes to be an amazing teacher and for your outstanding commitment to teaching and to your students and congratulations on your selection as a 2017 Learners Edge Amazing Teacher runner-up!
If you haven’t heard about the Learners Edge Amazing Teacher Contest, you can learn all about it here!
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