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2012 National Teacher of the Year Promotes Professionalism
posted by: Tim | October 23, 2012, 10:42 PM   

When asked about her greatest strength as a teacher, Mielwocki referred to her "tremendous responsibility" to make curriculum applicable to students' daily lives. "It's trying to combine an intense delivery system that gives them both information and knowledge that at the same time is lively, and engaging and relevant and real to their lives."

Whether this means stopping her lessons to deal with a quarrel among two seventh grade girls, or incorporating modern technology into her classroom, Mielwocki strives to make education interactive and pertinent.

Mielwocki explained the importance of being a teacher leader, defining it as a teacher who sees "themselves as embedded in the fabric of an entire school and believes that every kid is their kid."

She then stressed the importance of teachers having a career path, with promotion based on performance. She consented that "teacher effectiveness is very ambiguous... you need to look at what the kids say...ask parents, how do you feel about this teacher?" Mielwocki promotes teachers taking a holistic approach to their jobs, not just being involved during school hours.

When asked about education reform, particularly the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, Mielwocki described them as a "breath of fresh air."

"The standards that I currently have to teach kids number over 200. There were 186 school days in my calendar. I don't understand how you attain mastery when every day you're doing a different dance."

Mielwocki emphasized the importance of the implementation being tactful and deliberate, with "very clear instruction," "very clear professional development," and "a sense of urgency about doing it, but not about speed rolling it out." She is also a big proponent of adequate training and instruction for teachers.

Mielwocki concluded the interview by conveying the primary concern of her platform – "restoring dignity and admiration to the teaching profession" by having "realistic" but also inspiring conversations with teachers. She wants to remind teachers, how " incredibly vital their power is to transform not just a child's life but their entire school by being a teacher leader, by staying positive, by having the courage to not teach to the test but beyond it."

Do you think Mielwocki is representative of the teaching profession?

Comment below.

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