In honor of Teacher Appreciation Day, the 2011 teachers of the year were invited to a reception in the White House Rose Garden. President thanked them for their service and remembered his fifth-grade teacher, Mabel Hefty, who helped him adjust to school in Hawaii after several years in Indonesia.
Michelle Shearer, an AP chemistry teacher at Urbana High in Maryland, is the 2011 national teacher of the year. A teacher for 14 years, she previously taught chemistry and math at the Maryland School for the Deaf. Shearer earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Princeton.
The teaching of chemistry can begin in a preschool classroom with household materials, as young students marvel at the bubbles, color changes, and visual “magic” inherent to chemistry. High school students demand to know, “What does this have to do with me?” I display a collection of random household items (sunscreen, laundry detergent, motor oil, shampoo, etc.) across the tops of cabinets as a constant reminder to my students of the practical role chemistry plays in their lives.
My favorite teacher was Mr. Parker in fourth grade, but I also remember Miss Anderson, who taught Great Books in high school. Come to think of it, my chemistry teacher, Mr. Carmichael was excellent too.