Eleven Southeast Minnesota educators awarded for excellence in classroom

Eleven Southeast Minnesota educators awarded for excellence in classroom.
Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 9:44 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Eleven outstanding STEM educators were nominated and awarded for their work in the classroom, and the pandemic has really changed the way classrooms operate. Educators shared how they have adapted and one thing they have learned over the past three years is that in order for students to have a positive school experience, they have to be engaged.

”Education can happen anywhere. Education doesn’t just need to be out of a book and out of a classroom, so really just making sure that we are giving them authentic experiences,” award recipient and teacher at Austin Online Academy Jessica White Stanley said.

Many teachers have tried to mold their classroom into a home away from home for students.

“Really strong relationship with the kids hopefully and then leaning into that if they are struggling or if they are not super engaged if they are struggling you can draw them in a little bit better,” award recipient and teacher at Byron Senior High School Jacob Findlay said.

Findlay says he has had success by making his classroom as hands-on as possible to keep his students curious.

“Getting them creating and designing, have fun and exploring and just kind of foster a love for learning- and I think the pandemic really just kick-started that whole movement,” Findlay said.

Award recipients and nominees have had a significant impact on Minnesota youth, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed by their peers.

“These teachers are really leaders in their building, and they’re thought leaders and their approaches to education are really unlike anything people have seen before,” STEM Forward program manager Sarah Ness said. “They have found a lot of new and innovative ways to engage students.”