National Teaching Award Nominee
Veterans Memorial Middle School, Columbus, Georgia
Student Nomination Story
I remember back in August when I first walked into Mrs. Perkins' class. She taught us both math and science during the first two periods of each and every day. I have to say: these were my two very favorite classes. Sure, she's great at teaching and handling kids, but there's much more. You see, my mom has had Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer for a few years now. Every time I felt too overwhelmed from what I had going on at home, she would either let me go to the counselor or talk to me about it. Her mom died too, but from a fatal injury. Whenever I felt down, she would give me motivation by saying nice things to me and sharing her own experiences. In addition to these in-person conversations, she's also messaged me through Remind 101 (outside her office hours 7AM-7PM) and talk to me when I needed it. She even messaged me on my birthday hoping I'd have a good day. Also, when I was on a very strong medicine and out of school, she'd check up on me. She's truly a very kind and caring person. In addition to these personal connections we both share, Mrs. Perkins is also a fantastic instructor. Even though our classes involve high levels of pressure (due to being high school level when still in middle school), she lightens the mood often while still providing a worthy learning environment. She's very funny, and easily gives everyone a good laugh every once and a while! For example, we were working on factoring in her math class, and she told us an easier approach to solve a problem. Then, she followed up by saying, "If you're not cheating, you're not trying." She quickly took back this comment and said not to live by this. Even though it wasn't technically "cheating" what she told us we should do. Just a faster approach. It gave me a good laugh, nonetheless. I also love how Mrs. Perkins taught us to manage work. Being high school classes, the workload is often quite large. This year I've learned how to complete several assignments with a strict time limit. For example, one week we had several math online assignments, a science discussion post (that also needed 2 replies), science poster, a math brochure, and a final science research response due very soon. While several felt like this was a lot (me included), it was very much worth it. I can easily manage large workloads from several classes because of this, and I'm sure it'll help me in high school next year. Moreover, Mrs. Perkins also treats all students fairly. She doesn't target certain students and never obviously treat some better than others like different teachers do. Teaching-wise, Mrs. Perkins is one of the best. We often do phet (online) labs on various subjects such as gas laws and atoms, as well as actual lab assignments. One time, we had to design a lab when we were working with speed and motion graphs. This was the "fast to class lab." We needed several components: a graph with at least two stops, a table with our data, a written diagram of our path, and an explanation of the steps we took to conduct the lab. This lab required critical-thinking skills which is what I love about this teacher's assignments, they often require these: hard work in a timely manner and strict knowledge of the subject area we are studying. I have become much smarter, being able to apply my knowledge into creating labs and answering long questions, from her science class. In terms of math, she's even better (at least in my opinion). We've learned several new math skills in her class. Also, finishing a very long test is not an issue because she gave us all these skills. Often times, she doesn't look for us to solve a problem, but, for example, may require us to create a brochure explaining different methods for doing such. In conclusion, I believe Mrs. Perkins deserves to be honored. She's the best teacher I've ever had, worthy of being a winner here. She's inspired me to be as good of a person as she is and be above satisfactory at what I do when I get older. From a caring personality to being fantastic at what she does (teaching), she's a great teacher in all areas. Thanks for your time in reading my response. -Connor Khoury, 8th Grader at Veterans Memorial Middle School. -Columbus, Georgia.
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