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Delaware Governor: Jack Markell

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  Archived Posts From: 2010


How Much Difference Does a Teacher Make?

Written on: November 2nd, 2010 in Education

Were there any teachers that helped shape your life? Teachers that – in the words of Joseph Masiello, Delaware’s new Teacher of the Year – made you feel like you could soar?

An exceptional teacher can make a world of difference for a child’s future. Good teachers do far more than impart knowledge – they inspire a love of that knowledge.  They turn the classroom into a place of wonder, a place where that child wants to be.

I want to thank and congratulate Delaware’s Teacher of the Year, as well the 18 other outstanding nominees.  Their enthusiasm, energy, creativity, diligence and compassion are truly inspirational.

Similarly, an exceptional school system can make a world of difference for our efforts to create new jobs today and for Delaware’s future. New employers want to be in a place where their kids will have a great opportunity to learn and where schools graduate youth prepared to thrive professionally.

I want to thank all of the teachers who work hard to educate more than 120,000 children in Delaware’s public schools.  Our teachers are laying the foundation for our future on a daily basis, and their involvement in the education improvement process has been instrumental.

Thousands of teachers are making a difference for Delaware, but what can a single teacher do? Here’s what a few of our district Teachers of the Year wrote about the teachers that inspired them:

Delmar High School’s Lorrie Sonnier: “My success in the classroom was simply a fulfillment of my teachers’ expectations of me. That is until I walked into Mr. Wood’s tenth grade English class. Mr. Wood would stand on chairs and raise his voice to demonstrate his passion about what we were reading, create the craziest sentences that ensured each and every one of us walked away with new vocabulary whether we had planned it or not. By the end of that year, I had developed an insatiable love of reading and knowledge that has become the foundation of who I am.”

Milford High School’s Amanda Parisi: “In middle school, I started Spanish with the teacher who bounced into class, clapping her hands and chanting, ‘Buenos dias, clase! and of course, we responded with, Buenos dias, Señorita Roche!’  She had an electric energy that I hadn’t seen in a teacher. As we worked our way through basic vocabulary, culture and conjugations, I felt like I was learning a secret code. I was hooked and my thirst for more resulted in my continuing my education in Spanish.”

Seaford School District’s Courtney White: “A child sits in a classroom. She is confused, nervous and unsure of herself. She wants to do her best, but she does not know how. This girl is not a good reader so learning from a textbook is difficult. Picture this same girl five years later in high school. Mr. Kevin Chorusey, her eleventh grade English teacher, created a classroom culture that allowed his students to take chances. He taught with enthusiasm and excitement. This once tentative child is now engaged in class and all of the barriers to learning are a part of her distant past. This child was me.”

To learn about our 2011 Teacher of the Year and all 19 nominees, please visit us on Facebook.

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