Washington Street Elementary fourth grade teacher Martha Anderson is one of two finalists for the Sandhills Teacher of the Year Award, and she was still in her classroom helping four students doing their homework at 3 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.
Wednesday, a panel visited Washington Street to interview students, colleagues and Anderson herself to determine if she will take the award and compete for North Carolina Teacher of the Year.
But Tuesday afternoon, she said she wasn’t nervous and neither were her students.
“They’re fine,” she said. “I told them that they shouldn’t be nervous because I’m not, and I also told them this is a big day for them as well.”
Anderson wasn’t planning anything out of the ordinary for her lesson plan. She chose to stick with what got her this far in the competition, reading and math.
“We’re doing division with remainders,” she said, adding that the language arts block of her class would deal with analyzing characters’ actions and motivations from three books for young adult with the common theme of chocolate.
“The day went really well.” Anderson said afterwards. “The kids were great, and went through their normal routine. I feel like I’m on a big wave - it’s thrilling, exciting and really the culmination of a career.”
Washington Street Prinicipal Marsha Porter explained how fortunate she feels to have Anderson as one of her faculty members.
“She has so many strengths and brings so much to the table,” Porter said. “She’s well-respected and she has high expectations for her students. She will do anything for her children.”
If selected as the Sandhills Region Teacher of the Year, Anderson will become one of eight teachers who will compete for the title of North Carolina Teacher of the Year.
The NC Teacher of the Year is chosen from among the eight regional winners and charter schools by a selection committee consisting of professional educators and community leaders.
The N.C. Teacher of the Year and the eight teacher of the year finalists comprise a team and work collaboratively on education issues in state. They also assist in planning and executing a statewide celebration for the award.