The Most Creative Teacher Is…
Wow guys! When we asked you to nominate your teachers for our PowToon Creativity Awards – we knew there were some AWESOME teachers out there, but we never imagined the amount of nominations and stories you’d be sending in. We went through THOUSANDS of nominations and struggled with picking the top 3 because they were all so amazing! So here are our top 3 winners who will be getting the PowToon Classroom Elite from us, but keep reading as we want to give a shout out, and share the stories of a few more special teachers. Believe, me we wish you could all win but we are so happy to see how each and every one of you is inspiring your students and truly “igniting creativity”:
Drum roll please
Miss Yessica Betzabe Contreras Fuentes
Miss Yessica had over 20 students send in emails explaining why she is the most creative teacher alive! Here are some of their stories:
“I nominate Yessica Betzabe Contreras Fuentes. This teacher is creative because although we are studying codes and programming languages, she searches and uses activities, web sites and games to explain to us the basic rules for commands and system instructions, which otherwise will be boring and way more difficult to understand”
“I want to nominate my teacher: Yessica Contreras. This teacher is creative because she seeks new methods and ways of teaching the subjects of class, always tries something new when it comes to work and even weekly exams. An example is when we made a test with a Jenga, for me and the rest of the group it was the best game of Jenga we have ever. Intense but fun, I think is how I describe her classes, because we learn more about the topic we see. Also she teaches us how we can apply and develop our creativity in the field of work and in our social life, in some cases it gives us ideas for our work in other classes as well as hers.”
“Miss Yessica Contreras is the most amazing , and creative teacher that I ever had. Her soul is full of happiness. She knows everything about computers and she makes all the classes really fun and different that all the other teachers. She always think which activities are going to be the best for teaching us, and I love that because they are really creative, and because they are really interactive.”
Ms. Valerie DeTorres
Here is what one of Ms. DeTorres’s colleagues said about her complete awesomeness, and passion for igniting creativity in her classroom:
” She is transforming the way students learn every day! Valerie DeTorres, a biology teacher at North 13th Street Tech located in Newark, NJ should win this award. She teaches low income and special needs students how to become independent learners and creative problem solvers. She focuses around student-centered learning with the use of learning centers. She created a class Moodle page where students can watch PowToon videos she creates, musics videos pertaining to the biology content, and other resources that all align to the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards and the Common Core. As students enter her room, she quickly gives them a self-assessment which will identify the areas the students need to work on and then the students transition into a learning center geared towards their needs. While the students are working independently or in a small group, Ms. DeTorres walks around and offers one-on-one and small group instruction. She has improved student attitudes, confidence, and not to mention test scores. Through peer and student surveys, she has consistently been named the most innovative and engaging teacher in the district. Her passion and creativity comes through every day she is in the classroom and Valerie DeTorres deserves to be recognized for it. She is AWESOME! Ms. DeTorres class assignments are all project and inquiry based assignments, which promote creativity and ingenuity from her students. They are given a task and have to decide how to solve and present it to the class. Students have to hypothesize a solution, create an experiments to test it, collect and analyze data, and report their findings. Sure other teachers do labs throughout the year, but no teacher has ever turned their entire class into a lab, where students find solutions and dictate what the lab procedures will be. I, Salvatore Lima, am the 2015 Essex County Teacher of the Year, and I nominate Valerie DeTorres, because I know she is a phenomenal teacher and deserves this award more than anyone, including myself.”
Mrs. Michele Blackwell
Mrs. Blackwell received some of the most glowing recommendations we had the pleasure of reading, but we will post our favorite one here!
“Hello, whoever may be on the other end of this e-mail! Some member of the PowToon team, I’m sure… Or perhaps a unicorn. Though aren’t they one and the same? I would love to take the time right now to thoroughly and properly nominate Mrs. Michele Blackwell of the Arizona Virtual Academy in your 2015 PowToon CREATIVITY Awards, not only because of her inherent creativity as a teacher, but also because I’m just picturing all of the awesomeness and engagement she would yet create with a Classroom Elite Account. It may be too much for the state, the country, the world, the universe! Ahem…I’m not quite sure where I should begin in terms of Mrs. Blackwell’s creativity–for it seems to emanate from everything she presents as a teacher–though it is the reason for this correspondence and so I shall take no longer in showcasing it to the best of my abilities! To put it shortly – before the really, really, really long version of it, ahaha – Mrs. Blackwell flawlessly ‘ignites creativity in the classroom’, like a bright, burning flame lighting the path all while captivating those in its presence with mesmerizing awe. Sure, go ahead and attribute this to her majorly being an art teacher – creativity must come easily to them, right? – though, lo and behold, I personally credit this to her character; she’s funny, she’s kind, she’s very helpful (most important in a teacher!), and she’s inspiring, though the list could go on and on and on… Much like this nomination is bound to, heh. Oh, how much easier it would be if your team could accept right off the bat that Mrs. Blackwell is, hands down, one of the most awesome and approachable teachers in the realm of teaching. I mean, try pairing creativity with a teacher whose ‘weather mood’ was always set to overcast! Good luck to them, in trying to ignite their classroom the way Mrs. Blackwell so effortlessly does… What makes her so unique, then, as a candidate for nomination for this award, as I can’t single her out as the only awesome teacher in this world? Ah, how about the fact that she finds ways to showcase her creativity and enthusiasm, as well as invoke such in her students … in an online setting?? That’s right; we’re all part of an Internet-based high school over here – the wonderful, aforementioned Arizona Virtual Academy, or the high school division of it, anyhow – and are quite literally spread across the entire state, interconnected by our blessed Internet connections~ Yet, and needless to say, this form of schooling presents an unusual challenge between teacher and student: the lack of that daily, face-to-face interaction. It’s far too easy in such an online environment for students to start feeling ‘alienated’ or disconnected. Or, you know, that the being on the other side of the computer claiming to be their teacher is either a) an alien or b) doesn’t really exist. Let me enforce, then, that such is the exact opposite of Mrs. Blackwell’s students, from what I’ve seen (and personally experienced, being her student myself!). Every single day that she hosts a live, online, synchronous class session, I promise you, students log-in brimming with excitement to know what we’ll be doing in class that day. As her student, I know this has included but are not limited to breathtaking on-screen demonstrations, online games we play to review key lesson concepts (Kahoot or Cash Cab, anyone?), and watching her famous trailers she plays before the official start of class. The latter most, I think, is perhaps where her unfettered creativity shines through the most. The lovely, lovely trailers, which exhibit class announcements and are presented in the most interesting – and dare I say cute? – ways possible~ For instance, as a mock news-show or movie introduction; my two personal favorites. They’re all complete with sound, visuals, and optimum joint entertainment and information, and will quite frankly overpower any mere bullet-ed list of announcements with sheer awesomeness. Besides, her trailers are where she seems to utilize her PowToon wizardry the most, which makes ’em that much better, right? Besides, her trailers are where she seems to utilize her PowToon wizardry the most, which makes ’em that much better, right? She easily accomplishes that rare feat of making learning fun, and I’m sure that’s what 95% of students say about great teachers, yet it’s absolutely true in Mrs. Blackwell’s case. That, I believe, is the ultimate goal of combining learning with creativity: to make it so fun, captivating, rewarding, and personally important to both students and teachers alike that we literally rave about what we did in class at the dinner table. Heheh… I, for one, confess to that last part there. I can’t help it, though! Not with a teacher as creatively unique and wonderful as Mrs. Blackwell, who inspires a love of unique learning. I do believe that concludes this nomination, then! I most certainly hope you heavily consider Mrs. Blackwell of the Arizona Virtual Academy as a worthy recipient for a 2015 Powtoon CREATIVITY award. Sincerely, Sarah R. Negovan, Student and Digital Arts I Peer Tutor (taught by none other than Mrs. Blackwell herself) at the Arizona Virtual Academy”
A HUGE congratulations to our three winners! Here are just a few more things people are saying about their awesome teachers:
” Dianna Rogers is the most creative teacher because she does funny activities. We take selfies, we go to the mall in order to learn more vocabulary and in that way learning English is more interesting and I don’t get bored.”
“Miss Mariana Jimenez is the most creative teacher I ever had because her math class is very interactive, and even though I don´t like math because I found it difficult she always finds a way to make it easier and not boring, also she explains very good. Also she makes activities for us to understand it better.”
“My name is Shayla Lopez. I think the most creative teacher in my school is Mr. Mark Beckett. “This teacher is creative because he understands the importance of his students mind. I say this because Mr. Beckett makes sure he always allows us to create our own performances, our own song writing , our own everything mostly. He makes sure he provides us with enough tools and resources at all times in order for us to bring out our creative minds.
Congratulations again to all of the amazing teachers out there! We thank you for truly embodying awesomeness, and igniting creativity in your students!
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