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|The Teacher Feature highlights the positive impact or innovative work of a South Dakota teacher each month. If you have a suggestion for a Teacher Feature, contact Laura Haatvedt at (605) 773-2593 or firstname.lastname@example.org.|
Anderson receives prestigious award
Rapid City’s Katie Anderson was named South Dakota’s 2013 Teacher of the Year last week, and when asked what she was most looking forward to about the upcoming year, the science and reading teacher at East Middle School had a simple response that spoke volumes: “Just being able to meet and learn from the other state honorees.”
Every day, Anderson approaches her classroom with that same attitude. Every day presents a new learning opportunity for Anderson and her students. According to Anderson, they have much to learn from each other.
“One of the things I really like about teaching science is that I get to be with the kids as they’re asking questions, solving problems and figuring things out,” Anderson said. “We do a lot of fun experiments. It’s fun to watch them while they’re thinking and to see them reach their full potential.”
The marriage of science and reading sometimes seems a little surprising at first, but to Anderson it makes perfect sense.
“Science text is difficult to read, and kids need to know how to read it in order to solve problems,” Anderson said. “So it’s not just reading a passage anymore, but reading for comprehension and understanding and critical thinking.”
As for the opportunity to represent South Dakota in Washington, D.C., as the state nominee for the National Teacher of the Year award, Anderson says she’s “very honored."
Katie Anderson, center, is congratulated by outgoing state Teacher of the Year Pat Moller, of Mitchell, and 2012 National Teacher of the Year Rebecca Mieliwocki, of Burbank, Calif. The announcement came Oct. 11, during a banquet honoring teacher leaders from across the state.