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.
Our Amazing Teacher Contest Grand Prize Winner, Lisa Clark, embodies all of the above. Lisa is a 3rd & 5th-grade teacher in Idaho. Read below to learn more about Lisa and the strong bond she forms with her students and how she goes above and beyond on a daily basis to help make a difference in their lives.
Why did you become a teacher?
As a child and teenager, I hated school, even though I was a good student and worked very hard. I was never popular and wasn’t part of the so-called “in-crowd.” Learning didn’t comeeasy for me either and I had to really work at it. I was often bored, lost or didn’t feel like some of my teachers cared. But, once I got into college, I realized that I wanted to become a teacher and make a difference for other children because I loved learning. Learning should be exciting and school should be a place where children want to be!
How long have you been teaching?
What is the best teaching advice you could provide to new teachers?
Love and really care about your students and get to know them. Be patient, kind and understanding, yet organized. Follow through with what you say and be respectful. Be prepared and flexible. Love your job!
What is your favorite part of being a teacher?
Watching my students learn and grow! The joy of when they are “struggling” and then finally get it and can apply their newfound knowledge.
What keeps you motivated as a teacher?
Always changing my routine so I’m not bored. Taking classes, reading, trying different ideas, researching new ways to do things- keeping things fresh and trying to stay updated with what the students like and are into.
What is your most memorable student experience or favorite teaching moment?
I have been blessed to have many memorable experiences that are all close to my heart. I think my favorite thing is seeing my former students grow up, graduate, and become successful adults.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your teaching experience?
I love my job and every child that has walked into my classroom. They humble me and because of them, I am a better person. I have learned so much from them…..
Lisa’sgenuine care and concern that she has for each of her students is one of the many reasons she was nominated and selected as our 2017 Learners Edge Amazing Teacher Grand Prize Winner. The difference she has made in her student’s lives is evident through a few excerptsfrom her nomination formbelow:
“She (Lisa) has made a difference in my child’s life and her other students by having a genuine concern for her students. She has had an emotional year with a student whose younger sibling was diagnosed with cancer and he was able to be a bone marrow donor for his sister. She rallied around him and organized a fundraiser for his family. She made him a shirt for being a hero and had the students and teachers sign it. She goes above and beyond and her students know they are loved. My child is in her class and she makes comments about how much Miss Clark loves her students. When her students are having a hard time, she often worried about them long after the school day is over.”
“Ms. Clark wants her students to have positive memorable experiences in school. She doesn’t take the easy way out when it comes to enhancing the curriculum with fun learning experiences. This year she helped the class make paper mache earth. Last year she wanted the class to have a garden. She helped build a little fenced in garden and assigned the students days to come take care of their plants over the summer. I love that she wants to continue to make an impact over the summer. I also am a co-worker with her and she always brings a positive attitude even when she has her own personal challenges, she reminds others that having a positive attitude is important.”
“I remember the day Miss Clark shared with the staff that she had a student whose sibling has cancer. She had tears in her eyes and she had a deep concern for his family. Not just the student, but for his mother, father, and little sister. She has since had other students who have had heart breaks this year and every time she has done something nice for them and their families. I think she is amazing because of the way she loves her class and continues to watch out for them after they leave her and move to the next grade level.”
Thank you, Lisa Clark, for illustrating what it takes to be an amazing teacher and for your outstanding commitment to teaching and to your students! You truly are an amazing teacher!
If you haven’t heard about the Learners Edge Amazing Teacher Contest, you can learn all about it here!
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