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Logo: Newport News Public Schools

Model Teachers: Library

Model TeacherModel TeacherName: Jessica Winkley
Content: Library Media Specialist
School: Newsome Park Elementary
Years Taught: 20


What do you most love about teaching?
One of the things I love most about teaching is building relationships with my students and seeing them thrive in areas of individual strength. Another thing I love most about teaching is seeing a child grow in their learning, especially in areas they might have seen as weaknesses. I love seeing a child "get it" for the first time and knowing that I played a small part in that moment.

Why are you passionate about supporting fellow teachers?
I enjoying working with and supporting fellow teachers as we learn from each other and seek best practices to engage and motivate our children to learn and grow as students and as citizens.

What two words best describe you as a teacher?
I think the two words that describe me as a teacher are a learner and an organizer. I love to learn new ways to engage my students and help them find success in reading and inquiry, two skills that will serve them well throughout their lives as students and citizens. I enjoy reading books and online articles and blogs, attending conferences to learn the latest teaching and learning strategies, dialoguing with colleagues about what they are doing, and scouring the web for a lesson or unit idea that I can make my own. I am also very organized. I am both a long-term and daily planner. I think through procedures ahead of time and spend time reflecting on how to better meet the needs of my students through daily routines in the library and in my library instruction.


Model TeacherModel TeacherName: Patty Lambusta
Content: Library
School: Passage Middle
Years Taught: 18


What makes NNPS a great school division?
NNPS provides the best opportunities for professional development and support.  I have attended so many excellent sessions that have strengthened me as an English teacher and a librarian.

Why are you passionate about supporting fellow teachers?
I truly enjoy working with new teachers because it ensures that our students are getting the best education available.  As much as new teachers learn from me, I always view my time with them as an opportunity for me to grow as well.

What is the best way to describe your classroom on a typical day?
My classroom is the media center, which truly is the heart of the school.  A typical day may consist of classes learning guided inquiry while some students work independently at computer stations, and still others search for great books.  During lunch time our "Lunch Bunch" comes down to eat lunch and play games, such as chess and checkers.  Students know that our library is a safe place that affords many rewards.


Model TeacherModel TeacherName: Jennifer Gratto
Content: Library
School: Huntington Middle
Years Taught: 37


What do you most love about teaching?
I love being able to see a student go from "I can't" to "I can!"  I live for the light bulb moment, when it all comes into focus for learners.  I get energy from my students that spurs me to do more. Middle schoolers have a special place in my heart; I've spent all but one year of my career teaching middle school. It's hard to imagine doing anything else.

Why are you passionate about supporting fellow teachers?
All teachers can benefit from seeing the way others handle similar challenges. Even after 35 years of teaching, I'm always looking for more effective ways to handle a classroom situation, teach a particular skill or group of students, or manage my time & tasks. I don't profess to know to it all, but I have certainly figured out a few things over the years. If I can help someone else see a different/better way to do something, I'm thrilled!

Why do you love working in NNPS?
I'm a product of NNPS, having graduated from Denbigh High School in 1977.  I moved back here from the west coast to teach in NNPS. I love the diversity of the student population and the challenges we face in teaching. NNPS is committed to ensuring every student graduates ready for the real world.


Logo: NNPS Curriculum Department