Kia Educator of the Month: December 2013
Teacher name: Bernadette Montgomery
School: Oglesby Elementary School, Gresham neighborhood
Grade: 1st/2nd grade teacher
Kia presenter name: Melissa Voss
1. How long have you been teaching? What grade do you teach?
Bernadette Montgomery: I have been teaching for sixteen years. I teach first and second graders.
2. Why did you decide you wanted to be a teacher? Are there any particular teachers who have influenced you in the past?
Montgomery: I decided to become an educator because, I feel I can really make a difference in a child’s life. I remember my English teacher in school, he was an excellent teacher. He informed the class about how computers will be a huge part of our lives. WOW, was he on target!!
3. Describe your favorite teaching memory or experience.
Montgomery: My favorite teaching memory as an educator was when I saw how a student lights up, when learning. When I knew he understood, how he was able to explain to me what he needed to do and why. I also remember a student telling me, "I got it, I got it." (BOY WHAT A FEELING!)
4. How do teachers/educators impact the lives of their students? What do you hope that you personally can do to have a positive impact on the students you work with?
Montgomery: Educators impact the lives of their students daily. There is always a teachable moment, if you're willing to listen. I personally hope to impact students by showing them I care, that they will do their best because, I care.
5. Describe how your professional role has made an impact thus far. What goals, if any, have you set in an effort to make even more of a difference in the future?
Montgomery: My professional role has made an impact because; my students know what I expect of them. My students will say, “I did it!” My response to them would be, “is it your best?” My goal as an educator is to continue to teach because teaching is ongoing, just as no one is too old to learn. I tell students learn something every day.
6. If your students could end each school year having learned only one thing, what would you want that to be?
Montgomery: My goal as an educator is to save a life by teaching. At the end of the school year, one thing I want my students to learn is that they can succeed. They must enter to learn and exit to serve.
7. What was your reaction when you learned that Samantha Williams nominated you, and then when you were selected as the Kia Educator of the Month?
Montgomery: When I learned I was nominated Kia Educator of the Month, I thought it was a prank. I really didn't believe it!
8. As Teacher of the Month, how will you spend your $1,000 award money?
Montgomery: As Teacher of the Month I will spend my $1,000 on the technology area, the Library center is in need of an update, create an art center, and purchase calculators. Being nominated as Kia Educator of the Month was a blessing and it a pleasure to bless my students.