Ms. Nicole Gardner, an alum of the Teacher Education and Higher Education department at the UNC Greensboro School of Education, was named Rockingham County Schools’ 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year! Teachers of the Year are selected by their peers for the quality of their teaching, professional development, teaching philosophy and methods, community involvement and contributions to education.
Nicole is a 6th and 7th grade math teacher at Western Rockingham Middle School (WRMS). Nicole has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Middle Grades Education from UNC Greensboro, licensure in grades 6-9, with concentrations in Mathematics and Social Studies.
Nicole is currently the student government advisor for WRMS and she feels it gives her the opportunity to lead a group in improving the school, as well as the community. She says that although this is not an academic subject, she believes this is a very important contribution; she is teaching students that they can genuinely make a difference.
Nicole says: “As a math teacher, I cannot successfully prepare my students for every question style or question stem they may be asked on a standardized test. As I have developed as a teacher, I have simplified my teaching philosophy. My main focus each school year is to develop my math students into problem solvers. Can students collaborate around a task and use mathematical skills strategically to form a solution? Usually, until mid-way through the year, the answer is simple: No. Students are not used to thinking outside of the box and coming up with multiple ways to prove solutions. Daily, I witness students growing into mathematical thinkers and problem-solvers, but also growing on their standardized tests. I love what I teach and I share my passion and enthusiasm for mathematics with my students daily.”
Thank you for your dedication, hard work, and commitment! Congratulations!
Read the Rockingham County Education Foundation announcement here.