Will Rogers Junior High teacher Rhonda Bart was recently chosen as Claremore Public Schools Teacher of the Year. Bart, along with fellow WRJH teacher Tracey Niblack were named district finalists last December after completing topic essays about the philosophy of teaching and ways to help improve teaching as a profession.
Essays were scored by the Professional Development Committee. The two highest scores became the two finalists for the district.
Bart and Niblack each completed two more essays and an interview process with the development committee before the teacher of the year was announced this month.
Bart said she enjoyed the essay process because it allowed her to reflect on her style of teaching.
“I don’t think teachers always take the time to reflect on what they can do better or what they are doing well. The essay questions made me take the time to do this and it was very helpful.”
Bart currently teaches sixth grade math and science.
Beginning the 2014-2015 school year, Oklahoma will adopt the Common Core standards for math and language arts. These standards will replace the P.A.S.S. objectives that schools currently use.
“We will start switching over to the Common Core style of teaching next year to get the students ready,” said Bart. “Ready or not, we’re all going to have to make the changes.”
Common Core is a much more rigorous standard of teaching, used to better prepare students for college and the work world, she said.
“The switch has some of us a little intimidated, but we learn and go with whatever is best for the students.”
Bart said she loves teaching for the district because she is able to work with so many wonderful teachers and faculty.
“I appreciate all of the support from teachers and staff. It was an honor just to be part of the selection process, so when I found out I had been named teacher of the year I was thrilled,” she said.