Thursday, May 8, 2014

National Teacher Appreciation Week 2014

In honor of National Teacher Appreciation Week, it is a great day to unveil the 2014 I Teach Because Project with our 2014 SC District Teachers of the Year! Check out some of the reasons why these outstanding educators choose to teach by visiting the following link:  I Teach Because 2014 Project

2014 South Carolina District Teachers of the Year

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Darleen goes to DC! Watch the White House Ceremony Honoring the State Teachers of the Year!

Congratulations to Darleen Sutton, our 2014 South Carolina Teacher of the Year! Darleen has worked tirelessly on behalf of students and educators across our great state. We are so proud of you and the work you have done in the lives of students, educators, and our profession! We celebrate you as you participate in the recognition events in DC for the State and National Teacher of the Year! Check out some of the photos and the video of the ceremony honoring the 2014 National Teacher of the Year, Sean McComb, Maryland's Teacher of the Year!

                                              National Teacher of the Year Ceremony

Darleen Sutton with Dr. Jill Biden at the Vice President's Home
State Teachers of the Year recognized at the Vice President's Home
White House Ceremony

Sunday, April 27, 2014

South Carolina Teacher of the Year Celebration

2015 South Carolina Teacher of the Year Announcement

Congratulations to our 2015 South Carolina Teacher of the Year, Jennifer Ainsworth! Jennifer is a high school moderate special needs teacher at Socastee High School in Horry County School District. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of students and educators! I also want to congratulate Christy Wilson, York 2 District Teacher of the Year, the recipient of the 2014 Charlie Dickerson Community Service Award. We are so proud of our District Teachers of the Year and the work they do each day in South Carolina public schools! Check out the announcement of the Charlie Dickerson Award and highlights from the event!

Charlie Dickerson Community Service Award Announcement

                            Reception Honoring our 2014 District Teachers of the Year

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

2014 Teacher Forum Conference Resources

We had a blast learning and growing with our 2014 class of SC District Teachers of the Year! Check out some of our resources from the conference on our webpage at 2014 SC Teacher Forum Conference Resources and enjoy the closing presentation!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Five Finalists for 2015 SC Teacher of the Year

Today, Dr. Zais announced the five outstanding finalists for South Carolina Teacher of the Year. One of these exceptional educators will be named South Carolina Teacher of the Year during the annual gala on April 23. You can read more about the finalists here!

All five finalists were chosen by a panel of educators and private citizens. The names of the teachers and their schools were concealed from the judges during the selection process. The five finalists will now travel to Columbia for personal interviews with a seven-member state selection committee.These teachers were chosen from nominees representing 81 school districts, South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind, Department of Juvenile Justice, Palmetto Unified School District, and the South Carolina Public Charter School District.

This is such an exciting time for each finalist and for their students, families, and colleagues! I am proud of each of our District Teachers of the Year in the class of 2014! The five finalists are representatives of the many dedicated educators who put their heart and soul into the work that they do each day! It is a source of hope to know that each of our District Teachers of the Year are amazing representatives for students and educators in SC. Congratulations to each of the five finalists and all of South Carolina's District Teachers of the Year! You all make us proud!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

"While I Teach... I AM Hope!"

Last week I was out running a few last minute errands to get ready for our teacher leader conference and a quote caught my eye at the checkout counter. 

“Most obstacles melt away when we make up our minds to walk boldly through them.”
                         ― Orison Swett Marden
2014 District Teachers of the Year

It was quite appropriate for the obstacles we faced in having the event. Winter Storm Pax put all plans on hold as we had to postpone the conference. Fortunately, we were able to reschedule the event. As we plan each year for our teacher leaders, the goal is to not simply create an event, but to create experiences that changes people's lives. Darleen Sutton, our 2014 SC Teacher of the Year, and our team did an amazing job of persevering through all of the obstacles to make the conference a huge success!

The obstacles melted away in Myrtle Beach! On opening night, the Aynor Blue Pan Jam Band from Aynor Elementary kicked off our event and the 2013 National Teacher of the Year, Jeff Charbonneau, inspired us all with an uplifting message! The conference provided opportunities for us to grow as teacher leaders, network, and be rejuvenated. Our local forms are doing amazing work and are making a difference in the lives of students and communities! I love South Carolina's state motto, "While I breathe, I hope!" Educators are a source of hope for a brighter future! Our theme for the week, "While I teach, I AM hope!" There are still worlds to change, lives to touch, powerful work to be done!  I am inspired by each of our South Carolina District Teachers of the Year! At the event, they raised over $2,700 dollars for the Ken Bower Teacher Cadet Scholarship through our silent auction! We also brought in over 2,500 books for the Leadership SC project Readers to Leaders! This project will provide books for children in need of books within their homes across SC! I am hopeful about all that will happen as a result of this life changing experience for the SC Teacher Forum!

Over 2,500 books will be in the hands of SC students!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Fostering Regional Collaboration

January 14-16 Regional Mentor Training Cohort
Each time we wrap up a South Carolina Initial Mentor Training I am reminded of why we do the things that we do each day! It is a joy to know that new teachers entering the education profession will benefit from opportunities to collaborate with veteran colleagues who are committed to moving beyond the buddy system of mentoring! Our January 2014 cohort is ready to mentor! Mentors from around SC gathered together to move mentoring initiatives forward in their local areas. Since 2007--08, we have trained over 11,000 certified mentors. We have also worked to build local capacity to keep the work moving forward by supporting the leadership capacity of district mentor leaders. We offer the Train the Trainer series twice a year to assist districts in supporting teacher leaders as they lead local trainings. Upon completion of Train the Trainer, certified mentors co-train with a certified trainer in order to complete the requirements to become a trainer. We welcome Denise Broome from Aiken and Renae Caldwell from Clarendon 1 as our newest certified trainers. We will host our next regional  initial mentor training in March. Our next Trainer Training will be held in April! Check out the mentoring tab on the website for more information on upcoming trainings!