Teacher of the year is an award given to teachers that exhibit skills and teaching methods that stand out. For 2022, Melanie Mullins, along with a few other teachers, were awarded as teachers of the year.
To be awarded teacher of the year there are a few things that have to be done. First the staff has to nominate outstanding staff members that will be looked over and reviewed. Once teachers are nominated and reviewed a list of the most voted staff members will be created. Then staff will revote for the people on the new list. After the final votes are in, four teachers will be selected and awarded as teacher of the year.
The number of teachers who win the award each year varies from school to school. The factors that determine the number of teachers who win are the number of students enrolled to the number of staff. For example, other schools that have a larger number of enrolled students might have more than four teachers selected while smaller schools might only have two teachers.
For this year’s winner, Mrs. Mullins, being recognized as teacher of the year, was not a surprise. Compared to other teachers, Mullins’ teaching is thought out based on the students in her class. She chooses engaging texts to read and engaging activities to get the students involved. Mullins also involves group work in her class to get students to talk and work together. To her, she thinks that having autonomy in the classroom is important and necessary. When she found out that she won the award her reaction was a mix between being excited and having gratitude toward her colleagues that voted for her.
Since winning the award her teaching habits have not changed, however, from starting out as a teacher in 2013 to now, her teaching has evolved. Mullins feels more comfortable to implement policies and choose activities to do in class. While there might have been a fear of trying new things when she first started teaching, that fear is no longer there since winning the award.
Some interesting facts about Mullins is that this is not the first time she has been teacher of the year. In 2017, three years into her teaching career, Mullins was awarded as teacher of the year. Also, Mullins has not just been a bobcat since 2013 but since 2010. In 2010, Mullins started out as an ESL teacher until she was given her first teaching position. Mullins is also the department chair for the English department at Central. Being the department chair means that Mullins manages the whole English group and professional development. She is the gateway between English teachers and administrators, and the gateway between English teachers and the state.
A little bit more about Mullins besides being an English teacher is that she is a huge University of Tennessee fan, enjoys hunting and going on hikes. Something interesting about Mullins is that she is working on getting over her fear of snakes little by little. Central High School would not be the same without Mrs. Mullins. She is a teacher who thinks and includes her students in her teaching. Being awarded teacher of year is an award that goes to a noticeable teacher, and Mrs. Mullins was noticed by and voted for by her colleagues.
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