ROBERT PIERCE • Leader & Times
USD 480’s Educator of the Month was recognized at Monday’s Board of Education meeting.
Shelly Martin has been with the local district for 12 years, currently teaching second and third grade at MacArthur Elementary, and as Principal Jennifer Workman tells it, she has a unique approach to education.
“She currently teaches a combination second, third grade classroom,” Workman said. “For content, she teaches the third graders while her partner teacher teaches the second graders.”
Workman said Martin is a model for fellow educators.
“I would send anybody in her classroom to learn,” she said. “It amazes me anytime I’m in there the things she does and how she makes it look so natural and so easy, when I know behind the scenes it is not.”
Workman said Martin is a well respected member of MacArthur’s project faculty.
“She uses her leadership skills throughout the school, serving on our building design team as well as our new Ed Elements personalized learning team,” she said.
Workman said Martin does a great job constantly mentoring new teachers in her hallway.
“This year, I challenged her,” she said. “Out of six teachers in her hallway, she has four interims and one brand new teacher, and she is mentoring five of the six teachers in her hallway this year.”
Workman said Martin spent last summer preparing her own classroom in order to focus her time during the start of the school year on getting interim teachers ready for the school year.
“These teachers couldn’t have a better mentor than Ms. Martin,” she said. “We wish them all the success because we’ve provided them all the support they need. She’s always willing to pitch in and help out whenever needed around school.”
Workman said Martin likewise participates in many after hour events.
“She can be seen at most of our music programs, even if they’re not her grade levels,” she said. “She likes to go see previous students, as well as making her face familiar to students who may be in her class in the future.”
Workman said Martin’s commitment to MacArthur is appreciated.
“She has high standards for her students and holds them accountable both academically and eagerly,” she said. “She’s not afraid to push those students who need a little extra push and is very patient with the ones who need a little extra time and care. She creates a very comfortable classroom with a positive environment using a lot of flexible seating opportunities as well as other student choices throughout the day.”
Martin, Workman said, also communicates weekly with parents through a newsletter and a program at the school.
“A big part of teaching is not only teaching the academic, but also building those relationships, and again, this is something Ms. Martin excels in,” she said. “We are very fortunate to have her as part of our MacArthur team. USD 480 is fortunate to have her as such as an exceptional teacher. Her professionalism, leadership and continual push for knowledge and improvement makes her a teacher so deserving of this recognition.”