Teacher of the Year 2012 - District Of Columbia
We affect the future… our influence is eternal.
A student entering my classroom becomes my project beyond the years of my direct instruction. They don’t “leave me” as they matriculate to higher levels of learning. Our interaction only becomes modified, as the student’s needs change. They will always be a reflection of me, and the foundation I have laid. Although I will never be able to measure exactly where my influence ends, I know my joy in seeing them achieve will never cease.
Neither parents nor teachers can do it alone; together we are a formidable force.
Parents and teachers together are an empowering force in children’s lives that can either make or break their desire to learn. We desperately need the support from home, and, even more importantly, children need this support. Teamwork makes the dream work. As educators it is crucial to find constructive and innovative ways to get that parent involved. Be accommodating to the parent who is reluctant and maybe a little intimidated. It is the parents, after all, who should be the most deeply invested in their own children.
We can’t take all of our students, birds, fish, elephants, and monkeys and ask them all to climb the same tree.
Central offices must understand the challenges faced by teachers to have all students meet a level of proficiency using the same measurement tools. Each child is an individual learner and has individual needs. Finding an accurate way to measure this is a very crucial point in education today. As educators we must find out the strengths and weaknesses of our students as individual learners in an attempt to push them to their full potential. Test scores should not define the individual. We are all unique human beings and must be allowed to get to the top through whatever path defines us.
Students come to us like a new computer: some are loaded with the latest software, some need to delete a few viruses, and others are in need of a full upgrade.
As a child enters the room we must never have pre-conceived notions based on their background. We all travel with baggage. As educators we must embrace the strengths and weaknesses of our students in order to shape and them into a fine piece of art. If your heart isn’t truly into what you are doing, your actions can be destructive to the lives of our innocent children. Be mindful of these expectations and demands before embarking on this profession.
Just as we hold our students to the highest possible standards, we must also hold ourselves to those same standards.
I am a powerful force in the lives of my students. If I fail then we all fail. We must be committed in our calling. It is my duty to service every student that comes through my door. I must understand that this commitment cannot be taken lightly because it extends beyond the here and now. I have the future in my hands daily. These young minds will one day be the teachers, doctors, and policy makers that I have helped to mold. My future will inevitably be in their hands one day. If I fail today, they will fail me tomorrow. My relationships must be meaningful, positive, and lasting. We cannot enter into this profession recklessly because we are then playing with the destiny of our nation. “I’m going to give your child the same thing I would want someone to give mine”.
The views expressed on this site are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Pearson Foundation.
Perea Blackmon is a third and fourth grade Montessori teacher who has taught at Langdon Education Campus in Washington, D.C., for 17 years. The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) named her the 2012 District of Columbia Teacher of the Year. She served on the Chancellor’s Cabinet in 2012, meeting and collaborating with Kaya Henderson, and colleagues, on implementation and modification of current policies. Mrs. Blackmon currently serves on the Leadership Team responsible for professional development workshops, which focus on data and instructional strategies. Mrs. Blackmon was the recipient of the Rubenstein Award for Highly Effective Teaching in 2011.
Mrs. Blackmon's DCPS ties extend beyond the classroom. Over the course of her tenure, Mrs. Blackmon has served at various times as the cheerleading coach, Step Team advisor, Langdon Mass Choir director, Lead Teacher, Grade level Chairperson, and DIBELS Coordinator. She mentors high school students as they begin their college bound quests, and partners with organizations such as Target and Everybody Wins D.C. to secure supplies for underprivileged students.
Mrs. Blackmon is the mother of nine children. All of them are current or former D.C. Public Schools students. Her husband, Jonathan Blackmon, is a teacher at Coolidge Sr. High School.