McPherson College teacher education faculty has selected two students to receive the Kansas Department of Education “Teacher of Promise” award – Jessica Wisdom and Katherine Hughes.
The award is given each year in connection with the Teacher of the Year program. Each Kansas college and university is asked to nominate two students for the award, who then participate in a statewide workshop led by the Teacher of the Year finalists. The recipients also attend and are recognized at the Teacher of the Year banquet in Wichita.
Wisdom - a Salina, Kan., senior – is pursuing a career as a mathematics teacher. Her mother teaches English as a second language in Salina and got Wisdom excited about receiving the recognition.
Wisdom has gone to great lengths in her practical classroom teaching experiences to make learning about math enjoyable – including writing a rap about polynomials. She said the rap wasn’t great, “But it got their attention.” Wisdom does the same problems she assigns, so that she can help guide the students’ work and make sure they’re equipped to do the problems.
“There’s nothing more annoying in math than when you do practice problems and they have nothing to do with the homework,” she said.
Katherine Hughes of Columbia, Mo., is a non-traditional student in her final year of pursuing a degree in elementary education. Hughes also works as a secretary in the teacher education program at McPherson College.
Hughes said the award would help greatly as she looked for a teaching job, but what she was really excited about was the workshop opportunity.
“I love to sneak into teachers’ rooms and see their strategies,” she said. “That’s the best way to learn is to see teachers teach.”
Dr. Marilyn Kimbrell, professor of education, said that the two winners from McPherson College have distinguished themselves and are wonderful role models for other teachers.
“All of us affiliated with McPherson College’s Teacher Education Program are proud of both of these fine educators,” Dr. Kimbrell said. “We will be proud to call them our graduates.”