Winners > Bethany McAfee    

Bethany McAfee

Sheridan Technical High School

Fort Lauderdale, FL

My goal is to have my students feel like they are heard valued and respected in my English class. I want to see my students hearts and their stories. There are so many sad things happening in the world that I want to make sure my students know they are special. I call every single student my child and end every class saying I love you! Many of my students have rough home lives and rarely hear these words. I want to ensure they KNOW that they are cherished. Beyond a welcoming environment I craft my curriculum around my students interests. About 70% of my students are of color so I teach a unit on Identity. We read texts about different cultures and they share with their classmates the customs and traditions of their heritage. This not only ensures equity but also makes the content more relevant. Also, I focus on growth in my classroom. While I push my students beyond what they think they can do I also explain that it’s okay to fail. Too many times perfection is emphasized rather than progress. I believe if students fail but overcome obstacles they are successful. Since I value my students teach relevant curriculum and instill perseverance I give joy to my students and am worthy of this award.