Saturday, September 27, 2014

Vote for Beth Dwyer's Proposal in Thank A Million Teachers Contest





      Insurance contest Thank A Million Teachers announces Beth Dwyer as one of the finalists eligible to win a $2,500 grant for her proposal.
     Beth Dwyer is a 15 year veteran teacher at District 194 Eastview School in Steger, Illinois. Being a Wife and Mother did not dampen her pursuit of becoming a teacher. She attended college knowing she had much to contribute to the lives of others. One can only imagine the difficulty of pursuing an education while wearing so many other hats. But she knew persistence had its rewards.
     Knowing she wanted to work with the younger children helped her stay focused and concentrate on her goals. 
     As part of a team, Beth Dwyer has proposed the RABBITS Reading Program. Aware of more than just her students, Mrs. Dwyer acknowledging that Eastview School is 57% low income with approximately 10% of incoming students just becoming English language learners. The Kindergarten teachers face challenges of preparing these students for the years ahead.  RABBITS stands for “Read A Book, Bring It To School” Kindergarten students would be sent home twice a week with a RABBIT backpack filled with quality literature to share with their families. The program would help to build early literacy skills in their students, to promote family literacy activities and to improve the home and school connection.
     She brings a unique understanding to the face of education. She has keenly observed and connected her student’s home environment with the challenges that could turn into obstacles if overlooked. Many have the mistaken concept that Kindergarten is simply all play. Nothing could be further from the truth. Kindergarten sets so many foundations of learning. It is here they learn social skills, school routine, communication with teachers and other students, problem solving, dealing with new experiences, respect for authority, listening skills, imagination and creativity, learning how to be teachable and how to express themselves. Truly that is just the tip of the iceberg; a student’s first experience with education can set the tone for their lifelong journey of learning.
     Mrs. Dwyer brings her love of music to the classroom, expanding the experiences of her pupils. She has learned a key to handling the challenge of Kindergarten; having a good sense of humor and teaching her kids to have a sense of humor. She also pours out patience to meet each child where they are at, which can be a priceless bridge to understanding.
         Dedicated to her profession, she also serves in the Young Authors Committee. She attends conferences to keep up on new teaching, participates in teacher blogs that promote sharing creative ideas with other teachers. When asked about her unexpected rewards of teaching she shared that she often hears words of praise and recognition from parents or grown students on the impact she has had on their lives.
VOTE For Beth Dwyer’s Proposal at

Friday, September 26, 2014

Vote For Nicole Williams' Proposal in Thank A Million Teachers Contest

Mrs. Nicole  Williams
Thank A Million Teachers Contestant

      Insurance contest Thank A Million Teachers announces Nicole Williams as one of the finalists eligible to win a $2,500 grant for her proposal.
       Nicole Williams is an English Teacher at Columbia Central Junior High School in Steger, Illinois. She teaches English to six, seventh and eighth grade students.  Her love of English planted the seed of becoming a teacher at a young age. She shared a meaningful testimony of how her family’s support and encouragement during her college years helped her manage her life and studies.  She accomplished her Internship with a high school English teacher and acquired her direction for her dream job. Though she did research other positions within her field, none held the appeal for her that serving as an English Teacher did. 
         Her proposal for what she would do with the grant money is quite innovative. She has recognized each student has an individual reading comprehension level no matter what grade they are in. Her goal is to provide subject books in various reading levels, to be utilized in the same classroom. This would help a teacher teach the core subject, keeping all students current while still accommodating those whose comprehension levels still need to mature and helping accelerated students maintain interest by allowing each mind the challenge it craves.  Her proposal could pioneer a more customized approach to teaching that could be used as a model for schools across the nation. This program would benefit students for years to come.
   Mrs. Williams shared some of her secrets to successful teaching. Naturally, before she began teaching she had her own notions of how the classroom setting would be. In true teacher spirit of always learning; she found ways to work with each class that was surprisingly different.  Each grade and each class had an atmosphere of its own. Mrs. Williams would adjust her classroom management skills to suit the environment of the classroom. What worked easily for one class, did not work for another. She investigated and found the right touch to make each classroom successful. She has the gift of humor that her students appreciate and she always makes learning fun.  She rises to the challenge of finding a way to connect with her students enabling them to master the subjects at hand.  
   She is quite aware other teachers have their own gifting and easily asks for help when she sees an area that could be improved.  This teacher is part of a group that shares new ideas, tips and ways to incorporate new technology in the classroom.
    Her personal rewards come from seeing her students “light bulb” moments and watching them blossom over the years. She would like all the students in her school to have the same advantages to learning as other communities have.
   Paul Preuss, Director of Curriculum of District 194 spoke highly of Mrs. Williams noting her gift for innovation and her willingness to take a risk to advance education. Her talent for seeing a problem, need or challenge and finding a better way to accomplish it makes her an outstanding teacher.
   The Best of Luck to You Mrs. Nicole Williams and Thank You for Your Creative Innovations!
VOTE For Nicole Williams Proposal at