TO IMPROVE AS A TEACHER AND LEADER, I BEGAN BY FINDING MY VOICE

November 09, 2015 · Bangor Daily News

By Kate Smith, a music teacher teaches for grades pre-K to 3 at Central Elementary School in South Berwick and the 2014 York County Teacher of the Year.

Last year at this time I was honored and celebrated with 15 other County Teachers of the Year, including 2015 Maine Teacher of the Year Jennifer Dorman. It was humbling, strange and a little bit embarrassing. It’s not often that the spotlight is on the teacher instead of the student.

It’s our life’s work to make sure everything we do is student-centered. After months of writing self-reflecting essays, submitting videos and answering interview questions, there I was, standing on stage at the end of a long line of inspirational, passionate individuals, wondering what on Earth comes next: Is this it? Do we all go back home, sharpen our pencils and resume our work as if this had all been a little holiday?

I found that to be unlikely.

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