On April 24, this year’s Teacher of the Year award was handed out and this award does not go to just any teacher, it goes to a teacher that goes above and beyond to help provide the best possible learning environment. This year’s Teacher of the Year is Kim Bartel.
How many years have you been teaching?
This is my 17th year, five at Lincoln, and 12 here at Leigh.
What kind of reward do you get for winning?
The biggest reward is the support from my colleagues who nominated me, demonstrating to me that they value the work and efforts I am putting in into maintaining the integrity of a program that did so much for me when I went through it as a student here at Leigh.
What kind of relationship do you have with your students?
I hope one where they see the method to my madness, that I genuinely do have their best interests at heart working hard to best prepare them for life beyond these walls. That it is very important to me that they not only learn the aspects of art, but those life skills that are going to play a major role in their life (accountability, responsibility, integrity, time management, organization).
How are you different from other teachers?
I don’t see myself as much different. I feel, like my colleagues, I’m very passionate about what I teach, I genuinely care about my students, I work hard at growing myself so that I can offer the best program for my students, I love seeing my students take knowledge into application by moving their learning beyond the classroom, and I’m very much about giving back to my community using the arts to serve.
What do you include in your lessons?
I want my students to learn to think for themselves, not just state an unoriginal thought because it’s what they believe I want to hear. I use a lot of humor in my lessons and I love quoting movies, using pop culture as a way to connect with the students or ideas being presented.
What is some advice you would give new teachers?
You’re braver than you believe.
And stronger than you seem.
And smarter than you think.