2018 has come to a close, and we know we haven’t even scratched the surface of inspiring educators around the globe. This week we wanted to share a collection from The 74, “9 Educators We’re Thankful We Met This Year.” Among the stories shared are Washington Teacher of the Year Mandy Manning, who teacher refugee and immigrant student and believes in the power of school community; and San Diego Teacher Michael Tong, who inspires and works closely with students at Thrive Public Schools. But we’ve rounded up a couple of other stories this week as well. We hope you enjoy! And as always, feel free to share one of your own stories with us as well. Tweet or DM us on Twitter @enrichstudents.
A Massachusetts teacher was just awarded the Sanford Award for her excellence in teaching. Renee Estrella is a hardworking 4th-grade teacher, whose main goal is to help students, at whatever learning level, grow. “When they leave me,” she says, “I want them to know how proud I am that they have grown.” She focuses on helping students to gain confidence, and simply do their best. She says, “They are tiny humans who are giving it their best, and who are we to tell them their best is not enough?” Read more about Estrella and the teaching philosophy that got her this award.
Josette Compton, a recent recipient of an Excellence in Teaching award, saw a unique opportunity to draw out her female students and give them a voice. An English teacher at Cleveland High School for Digital Arts and former journalist, Compton decided to launch a publication, run by girls, for girls, called “Smart Cookie.” The students work to collect and write the stories, design, get the images, edit and more. But it’s not easy to get a publication into print. So, two organizations donated $1000 to the endeavor. Check out Compton’s newsletter and its inspiration, hear from her students, and learn more about the donation in this video.