‘It is important to be strong for your students’ | TheUnion.com

‘It is important to be strong for your students’

Following is the third installment in The Union’s series highlighting candidates for Nevada County’s teacher of the year.

Michele Joiner

Third-grade teacher, Deer Creek School

Following are excerpts from her application:

“I believe that students in my class feel safe, supported and respected. It is my belief that the main job of a teacher is to help students achieve to their potential in a safe and nurturing environment. I maintain high expectations for my students, but more importantly, I maintain high expectations for myself.

“When expectations are clear and consistently applied, it contributes to a comfortable, supportive and respectful environment. I meet the students at the door each morning and greet them. It is a good way for me to make a one-on-one connection and to let them know that I am genuinely pleased to see them …

“It is important to be strong for your students. They need to know that you believe in them and that you genuinely care about them.

“Two years ago, I had a student named Corey in my class. Corey and both his brother and sister have a rare skin disease that ravages the skin and requires that they be wrapped from head to toe every other day. On the first day of school Corey stayed home and his mom, Lana, came in and discussed the disease with the other students. We did not want the children to be fearful of ‘catching’ the disease and at the same time wanted to give them a clear picture of what Corey could do and how he expected to be treated. The students were wonderful and Corey fit in immediately. Although his peers didn’t know it, Corey was in constant pain and yet he would never cry or complain. I remember being in awe of Corey and his determination to be like the rest of the students.

“I have a lot of good days teaching. Being a teacher is a demanding but intensely rewarding job. There are days when it seems more like an art than simply a job.”

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