Archive for May 10th, 2014


Inspiring Teachers

May 10, 2014

National Teacher of the Year finalists

The finalists for this years National Teacher of the Year are very inspirational. I mentioned one in yesterday’s post first grade teacher Melissa Porfirio from Crestwood Elementary School in Springfield, VA. Her saying “pat yourself on the back and kiss your brain” reminded me of how important it is to take a step back and breathe.

The other three finalists for the National Teacher of the Year are equally inspirational. Each of them have a few videos on the teacher channel. Ryan Devlin is a high school teacher from Brockway Area High School in Brockway, PA. I love listening to Ryan and his students talk about “game changers”. He makes up all of his lessons and assessments, most of them are project based in his paperless classroom. You can listen and watch Ryan and his students in action at One student describes Ryan’s class as an adventure!

Speaking languages 5 has come in useful for Dorina Sackman who teaches at Westridge Middle School in Orlando, FL. She teaches 8th graders, ESOL, English to Speakers of Other Languages. Her colleague says “Dorina teaches with her hair on fire every class, every day.” You can watch her in action at

Incredibly moving is the video on the teacher who was selected to represent all teachers for 2014. Sean McComb teaches at Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts in Dundalk, MD. The sign on their school building reads: John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts School of Excellence in Arts Education “Outstanding Achievement in Arts Education”. Sean teaches AVID, Advancement Via Individual Determination. It is a program that helps to empower students who are in the academic middle. If you don’t have time to view the other three finalists videos please be sure and see Sean’s at

All four teachers mention the importance of the student as a person and the value of intentionally focusing on self esteem and caring about the student. Being kind and caring to themselves and loving learning is key.

As Teacher Appreciation Week comes to a close please think about who has inspired you as a teacher and let them know how much you appreciate them for how they’ve influenced your teaching journey!

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