Finalist for Teacher of the Year

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Congratulations to middle school educator Shannon Shanning

Bruce Whittier Middle School is one lucky place for having Shannon Shanning as a teacher. Shannon was recently named as a finalist for the 2013 Maine Teacher of the Year. She joins colleagues Kathy Bousquet, a second and third grade teacher at Central School in South Berwick, and Beth Switzer, fourth-grade teacher at the Coastal Ridge Elementary School. An article in the Sun Journal on Monday provides details. You can access it by clicking here.

When I look at the Core Practices of the Bright Futures Middle Level report there are so many components that are integral to what Shannon does everyday as a middle school educator.

What jumps out? Shannon’s classroom description fits Core Practice 1: Students have access to curriculum that is relevant, challenging, integrative, and exploratory and is organized and executed to maximize accessibility for all students.

Example: “Shanning embeds learning into real-world experiences and connects students to the school and greater community through such efforts as the “MidKnight Fire-Slayers,” a partnership with the local fire department, according to the Maine Department of Education. She creates an environment of high engagement, challenge and support that inspires students to become more confident, capable and productive learners.”

Core Practice 7: Faculty, administration, and students collaboratively build a safe and caring climate that nurtures the individual while creating a sense of community where everyone is valued. In Shannon’s self-contained special education classroom the relationships that Shannon has with her students is built on her attention to building a safe and caring environment that definitely nurtures individuals as they all care for each other.

Principal Farag-Davis said that “Many of her students have developed a sense of themselves as incapable and helpless as learners,”. Shannon meets each student where they’re at, helps them develop goals, provides the instruction, encouragement “and occasional kick in the pants necessary to help them achieve their goals.”

Congratulations to Shannon as she continues in the process for the 2013 Maine Teacher of the Year!

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