Stuart Roosa Elementary fourth grade teacher Lynse Robinson has been named Claremore Public Schools Teacher of the Year.
Robinson said she was initially shocked just to be named a finalist for the award.
Robinson and Traci Smith, Will Rogers Junior High teacher, were chosen as finalists for the district in December after completing topic essays about their philosophy of teaching and ways to improve teaching as a profession.
Essays are scored by a professional development committee, who interviews the finalists before voting on teacher of the year in April.
“Traci happens to be my neighbor, and I have so much respect for her,” said Robinson. “She is one of those teachers who goes the extra mile day every day. Students love her, and to be put anywhere near her is a great honor for me.”
Robinson has taught in the Claremore district for nearly 20 years. She originally graduated with a business degree, and said originaly she did not plan on becoming a teacher.
“I come from a family of educators, and so I fought the idea of teaching for years,” she said. “One day, I asked myself why am I fighting this? It’s in my family and it’s what I am supposed to do. I really think teaching is a calling.”
She said the teachers who make a difference in this world, are the ones who love what they are doing, and realize every child learns differently.
Oklahoma is currently working to implement new academic state standards with a focus on preparing students for college, careers and citizenship — the Oklahoma Academic Standards include Common Core State Standards for English language arts and mathematics for grades preK-12.
“I think (Common Core) is a great thing. To all be working on the same standards just makes sense,” said Robinson. “It basically includes fewer objectives, while going deeper into the curriculum. For example in math, we’re supposed to focus more on fractions, so students need to know all four operations to be able to provide a deeper understanding of fractions.”
Robinson said she thinks having less, but spending more time is a good idea.
“The rigor is tougher, but more applicable. Students have to ask questions to be able to understand the concepts.”
Robinson has taught at Roosa for more than 15 years, and currently teaches fourth grade math, science and social studies. She said the reason she has chosen to remain at the school is because of the type of education students receive. Roosa Elementary is one of the few schools in the state to have earned Great Expectations status 12 years in a row.
“Great Expectations includes all of the teaching practices that teachers should be embellishing and working on — all rolled into one package. For us to be a model school statewide for so many years, is a great honor," Robinson said.