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Porter Elementary Teacher of the Year

Porter Elementary Teacher of the Year
Ann Gill  
  Ann Gill
  4th Grade Reading and Social Studies
  2 years of experience
  Dallas Baptist University
  Bachelor of Arts and Master of Liberal Arts
Why did you choose education as your career?
I love learning and loved the classroom environment as a child. Over the years I encountered a few truly excellent teachers who helped me discover my potential and encouraged me to excel. I chose education as my career because I understand the impact of their influence in my life, and I want to invest in my students' futures. It is exhilarating to see students attempt, achieve, and believe that success is possible throughout their lives. Never a dull moment, and what fun!
What is your key to success in the classroom?
Building relationships with my students is my key to success in the classroom. Knowing and building trust with each student helps me engage and empower them. Those relationships are the tools to work through my high expectations of hard work and good behavior, and instill my confidence that they are amazing and can achieve great things. I want each student to increasingly understand "I see you, I know you, I believe in you, and I will hold you accountable to keep working with me to achieve your very best." I want my students to believe in themselves and leave my classroom with the confidence of personal achievement, and hopefully, my encouraging voice in the back of their minds always.
How do you engage your students?
I am intentional and detailed in creating classroom environments that provide structure, are warm and inviting, and have fun and creative spaces. I get to know my students as readers, and I engage them with book suggestions for their personal interests to expand their horizons. I love surprising my students daily, and I delight in finding the next great book that will carry each one forward to a lifetime love of reading.
What do you love about teaching?
My greatest joy in teaching comes from seeing students achieve what seemed impossible as well as seeing them begin to believe they can accomplish anything. I am excited to help students learn to love reading as they build layers of foundation for their future success. I especially love to see them discover pockets of safety, comfort, and hope between the pages of a book. Many students carry burdens greater than a child's ability to cope. It is important to me that they discover the safe space found in good books - a safe place to escape the present, to relax and laugh, to wrestle with hurt or anger, to learn empathy, and to dream beyond what they see.