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Why I Teach

Jennifer Badalamenti: I became an AIG teacher because I believe that it's important we meet the needs of ALL students.  Our gifted learners are no exception.  They have unique attributes and abilities that require special instruction and nurturing so that they may reach their full potential.  As an AIG teacher, that means developing and delivering challenging and engaging curriculum to expand upon their talents, implementing differentiated strategies and accelerative practices to foster curiosity and commitment, and incorporating affective curriculum to meet their distinct social and emotional needs.  When given these opportunities, our gifted students soar and it’s my absolute pleasure to help them reach for the stars! 
Lauren Boop: I could speak for hours on the many different reasons why I teach. Simply put, I teach because I want to help advocate for our future generations. I teach because I want my students to understand global connections, restorative social justice and the history of our world. I get to empower them to think critically, innovate, and understand past & present issues. This environment allows me to see 21st century global citizens being molded every single day. I teach because our children give me hope for the future.
Jennifer Browndorf: This week, we are highlighting our sixth-grade science teacher and Teacher of the Year, Jennifer Browndorf. She has been recognized as one of twenty-six WPCSS semifinalists, and we want to send positive energy her way so she can represent Hilburn Academy as a finalist. Please see why Mrs. Browndorf teaches through her 4 Cs Teacher of the Year video as well as her recent accolades from the NC Soil and Water Conservation and Advocates for Health in Action.
Anna Brozell: I teach to inspire children to achieve more than they thought possible. I reach out to implant excitement for learning, designing, and achievement. I enjoy teaching students to become good problem solvers. As the poet William Butler Yeats said, "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."
Melissa Davidson:

To make a positive difference in the lives of children.

Everyday brings something new and different.

A new challenge to work on is around every corner.

Caring people everywhere I look.

Helping children become all they are destined to be.

Maria Eby: Marc Anthony put it well when he said, “If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.” I teach because there is no greater honor than helping another human being discover his/her own greatness and how to use it to contribute to the world. Not a day goes by that I am not inspired by the creativity, curiosity, and kindness of the students I teach. It is so rewarding to know that I provide students with the opportunity to attain the knowledge that will empower them to reach their goals throughout their lives. For me, teaching is not work: It is a privilege.
Sharon Freeze: I have always been fascinated by how we learn.  It is a wonderful challenge to me to read about brain development or educational theories and pair it with “boots on the ground” experience.  As the librarian at Hilburn, I can work beside students and staff helping them to meet their learning needs.  Our world is complex, and being able to make sense of all the information around us is what librarians help people do each day.  I love when students want to know more about something.  I love when students challenge themselves to create something new in a MakerSpace. The library is one place that all can go to throughout their lives to continue being a life-long learner.  I work to create an inviting, interesting environment in our library so all will have a positive experience. I also use my position as librarian to share books.  I love to read!  I have a favorite reading quote from Walt Disney that expresses the great gift of reading; “There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” I am here as a librarian to introduce students to the rich world of literature, to help learners when they ask important questions, to push students to explore the 4 Cs, and to be a part of my school’s learning environment.  I am honored to do this work.
Erin Gannon: I teach because spending my days with children as they explore new things and make discoveries is pretty awesome. One of my favorite things to experience as a teacher is when a student meets a goal they've been working really hard to achieve. Watching a child grow as a person and a student throughout our time together is always so inspiring!  
Ann Johnston: Like many 18-year-olds, I did not know what I wanted to do with my life, but I was certain that I wanted to do something significant.  As an undergrad, my major was African Studies; I spent a semester in Kenya working in rural villages and was determined to "change the world."  I also completed my elementary teaching certification and spent time my senior year student-teaching in a rural school in upstate New York.  Very quickly, I realized that I didn't have to travel around the globe to change the world, and my teaching career began. Guiding a student to tackle a new problem and find a solution empowers that students. I teach to provide students the tools and confidence they need so they can change the world in endless, positive ways.
Kevin Ledger: Ms. McCabe’s worksheets were devastatingly boring. Fourth-grade me just wanted to get them done and go do something else more interesting...until the day she passed out the Least Common Multiples worksheet. There seemed to be a pattern most of the time, but sometimes the pattern did not work. Why? That night, I spent what seemed like hours working out examples and creating similar problems to analyze. Eureka! I deduced a general formula. I could not wait to tell Ms. McCabe the way that she should be teaching LCM. To my dismay, she was not receptive. At that moment, I knew there was a job for me in this world. I wanted to inspire others to seek the answers to “Why?”, to guide them as needed along their path of discovery, and to share in the joy of their “Eureka!” moment. I could be a Teacher.  
Pamela Linstad:  I teach for many reasons. I won’t lie, one is not to write paragraphs about why I teach. I’m not positive how many people read the “Why I teach” paragraphs, but yesterday I was moved to write one. I teach because I’ve always wanted to; I teach because my mother told me it would be a great idea; I teach because it brings me joy and I cannot imagine what else I would do with myself because I have always loved going to school and playing school. During teacher appreciation week I confirmed with myself why I teach. Not all students have the same privileges in life. Not all students have parents. Not all students come to school to learn. I have never realized this so much as I have this school year. When one particular boy in my class came in with a gift bag, I thought to myself how special it was that a gift was put together for me. Inside were not things from my favorites list, but things to “pamper” myself. He had even made me an origami boat, and put a bracelet on my wrist himself. He was so proud of what he brought me. Inside was a card with a note from his guardian. The words she wrote to me are why I teach. The pride on his face when he gave me a gift to show me how much he loves me, single handedly made my teacher appreciation for the rest of my life. He might not be able to count to 100 without skipping the 40s, or write very neatly on paper, but he views my classroom as a safe caring space that he enjoys going to every day. This. This is why I teach. 
Maureen McAnarney: For me, teaching is fun. I love having the opportunity to expose young children to so many new experiences. Children learn through many avenues. I enjoy weaving art, poetry, fiction, math, and science together in cooperative learning activities that promote the 4 Cs. Most importantly, children are amazing. They teach me every day. 
Kaitlyn Summers: I have wanted to be a teacher since I was in elementary school myself. I used to bribe my younger brother to be my student and complete worksheets just so I could grade them. For Christmas one year my parents even bought me an overhead projector at a yard sale. It was certainly my most prized gift (less so for my brother, as he then begin to receive even more lectures from me!). As I grew up, this passion for teaching and working around children never faded. I teach to make a difference in the lives of my students, even if that is just making sure each student knows he is appreciated, loved and respected. I teach because I couldn’t imagine any other profession bringing me so much joy (in how many other jobs do people work as many “off the clock” hours, but yet laugh as many times a day?). I teach because this job is always changing and certainly never boring. I teach to inspire children to want to go home and pretend to be a teacher, and maybe one day enter the teaching field themselves. I have a passion for teaching, and I hope this creates a passion for learning for my students. 
Dianna Stavros: When someone asks me what I do for work and I tell them that I’m a teacher, the usual responses are “Oh I could never do that,” “I feel sorry for you,” or “It must be great to have summers off.” I used to feel the need to defend my career choice, however lately I respond with I have a great job and this is why: Education is in constant change, so I have the opportunity to learn and grow each day. What doesn’t change is the feeling that comes from knowing that you have given a child an opportunity to learn something new, build their confidence, and hopefully put a smile on their face. It is amazing to watch children grow throughout the school year and beyond.
Elissa Walker: I teach because when I was little, school was my favorite place to be. My first grade teacher here at Hilburn, Mrs. Vello, taught me that teachers have a bigger job than just teaching- they're responsible for making sure that every single student knows their worth and potential. Every afternoon, I want my students to feel valued, safe, and loved when they leave my classroom. More importantly, I want them to feel excited to return the following morning. Kids deserve it. 
Jenna Warren: I counsel middle school students because I find the middle school years to be critical years in paving a path for school and future life success! I LOVE collaborating with students, parents, teachers/staff to ensure when students move on to high school, they are as prepared as they can be for their future endeavors. I thoroughly enjoy supporting and observing their growth and development as individuals from when they begin 6th grade until they move on to high school.