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Meet our 2023 Excellent Educators

written by: Brittany Myers

We recently asked our Pals to nominate deserving educators so we could recognize terrific teachers that embody the characteristics of our 5 original Glo Pals Characters. We recieved many amazing nominations which included touching stories about all the amazing teachers across the U.S.

Meet the 5 Winners of our 2023 Excellent Educators below and read a little more about what motivates them as a teacher. Thanks to everyone who participated and we can't say how much we appreciate all of the educators all over the world who are doing amazing work and making an impact on our sweet little ones.

meet Jennifer anderson, aka "Blair"!

what is the most rewarding thing about your job?

"I feel most rewarded when I see children treating each other with kindness, practicing self-compassion alongside emotional regulation, and exhbiting a growth mindset."

describe a time where you felt like you truly fulfilled your calling as a teacher?

"When I came in last minute to take over a class in need of a teacher during the pandemic."

what or who inspired you to become a teacher?

"My mother who was an ECE teacher, and the kiddos I taught during my time working as an environmental educator."

meet deborah cossachi, aka "alex"

what is the most rewarding thing about your job?

"Helping quiet, shy children grow out of their shyness. Watching children challenged with making positive choices begin to make better choices."

describe a time where you felt like you truly fulfilled your calling as a teacher?

"The moment I first realized the children were learning from the lessons I had presented to them."

what or who inspired you to become a teacher?

"My love of children!"

meet jessie case, aka "Sammy"

what is the most rewarding thing about your job?

"Watching my students get excited about learning and seeing their little faces light up when they understand something they didn't know before is the most rewarding thing about my job. I remind my students every day they are special and loved!"

describe a time where you felt like you truly fulfilled your calling as a teacher?

"I truly fulfilled my calling as a teacher when I started understanding that children come from such diverse backgrounds and learn at different rates. I have also learned over the years how important it is to build relationships with my children and learn what interest and motivates them. Continuous improvement is of the upmost importance. We need to strive for improvement in order to provide a successful learning environment. I love the challenge of building success for each individual learner because EVERY student deserves a chance to learn."

what or who inspired you to become a teacher?

"Teaching has been my passion since I was a very little girl. My parents would often wipe the tears away from my face when I didn’t understand why the other children in the neighborhood did not want to play β€œschool.” They eventually turned the backyard storage shed into a classroom and played the role of my students. I grew up in a military family while my dad served in the army. We traveled the all over the world and with that came many new schools and teachers. I attended thirteen different schools before graduating high school. Growing up all over the world allowed me to be influenced by some of the most amazing teachers. The teachers that created such a loving and welcoming classroom made my passion grow even stronger. Several years ago I read a quote that impacted me greatly. Aristotle stated: β€œEducating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” I believe that my role as a teacher is to provide a loving and nurturing environment for my students and their families. We as teachers need our children to know we believe in them and their ability to be successful."

meet helma lee, aka "pippa"

what is the most rewarding thing about your job?

"The most rewarding thing about my job is building relationships with students and families. There is nothing I love more than when kids come back to visit years later to let me know how they are doing, to check in on me, or just to chat!"

describe a time where you felt like you truly fulfilled your calling as a teacher?

"I feel like I truly fulfilled my calling as a teacher every time kids get excited about what we're learning in class. I love when they take whatever we are working on and extend it further by learning more at home or by drawing pictures and bringing in their own examples."
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what or who inspired you to become a teacher?

"My first grade teacher, who was also my neighbor growing up, inspired me to become a teacher. She always made learning larger than life through hands on experiences and creative projects. I will never forget the apple unit we had in first grade, when we got to go to her house, pick apples from her garden, and Johnny Appleseed (as portrayed by her husband) came to talk to us and helpes us make apple cider. I still keep in contact with my teacher to this day!"

meet shelby pietrangelo, aka "lumi"

what is the most rewarding thing about your job?

"I love seeing the joy from my students. It’s always a great feeling to hear their laughter or see their smiling faces."

describe a time where you felt like you truly fulfilled your calling as a teacher?

"There have been many times when I have felt like teaching is my calling. My fondest memories include: I love making the classroom fun and inviting. If I can see that my students are excited to learn and be at school then I know I have done my job to the fullest. Also, when my students parents nominated me for 228 teacher of the year and when my team at BVE score #1 in the state on our K readiness test."

what or who inspired you to become a teacher?

"Dr. Parker, my advisor at Mississippi State!"

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