"Congratulations to Kevin Mulroe, Gifted and Talented Resource Teacher at Clemens Crossing Elementary School and recent recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship from the US Department of Education. He was one of fifteen educators chosen from across the United States to be part of this program. This summer, Kevin will be traveling to India to learn about India's best practices in math and science and, while there, will be completing a curriculum project focusing on India's education system and Indian culture."
Mulroe was Howard's teacher of the year in 2004-2005. He's helped send kids to U.S. space camp, and has written three children's books. Here's a bit from his 2005 teacher of the year profile:
Kevin has been a teacher for seven years -- two of which were spent as a 5th grade teacher in Alexandria, Egypt at the Schutz American School. An expert in educational motivations, he has presented his work on motivation in education at several international teachers' conferences. In 1999, he was selected to participate in the New York Stock Exchange Teachers Workshop to develop curriculum. Kevin is currently co-authoring a children's book about the C & O Canal.
How has the way you teach changed over the years? What lessons have you learned?
Since beginning in 1997, I have become a very balanced teacher in terms of creativity, instruction, communication, and leadership. I have done a better job at helping my students create meaning from what we work on together. To me, that is critical, because I always want my students to see the relevance of what they are learning and be able to apply that to their life and the lives of others.
One thing I have learned over time is that taking time to build relationships is essential as a teacher. They must be built with students, parents, and fellow staff if you are to be truly effective at what you do.
What advice would you give to a teacher who's starting their first year and feels overwhelmed?
Remember why you became a teacher and never lose sight of the fact that what you do every day is not only essential to success of your students, but to the prosperity and interests of the United States as well.
What do you think the biggest challenge that teachers face today is, and why? How do you meet it?
Increasing responsibilities in the classroom without adequate time to be innovative. The more work that is added to the daily schedule, the less time there is for planning and creating. This leads to less effective instruction and subsequently lower results. More planning time is needed to allow teachers to freedom to create meaningful lessons and "real-life" projects for their students. Set your priorities as a teacher. Think about what you are doing to improve the life of each child.
What do you think the key has been to your success as a teacher?To me, the key to becoming an effective teacher is to build a relationship with your students. If you think about anything you have been successful at in life, most likely it came from building relationships. This is absolutely essential to be an effective teacher. You must connect with your students across more that just curriculum.You must see them as individuals. Take time to learn their interests as well as fears. Make sure they see you in this light, too. Laugh with them, tell them stories, and share life's experiences.