Skip to main content

Logo: Newport News Public Schools

Model Teachers: World Language

Model TeacherName: Andrew Cameron
Content: Spanish
School: Gildersleeve & Dozier Middle
Years Taught: 6

 

What do you most love about teaching?  

Teaching allows me the chance to develop meaningful relationships with students while working to help them achieve their potential.

Why are you passionate about supporting fellow teachers?

Teaching isn't easy, despite what some might try to have us believe. The challenges are myriad and the importance of having someone to lean on cannot be overstated.  Whether it is to explore new teaching techniques and classroom strategies, to seek out advice on how best to handle a challenging student, or to simply speak with an empathetic listener who can relate to your day-to-day experience, no one understands the reality of being a teacher better than other teachers!

What two words best describe you as a teacher?  Why?

Enthusiastic and learner! My enthusiasm derives both from my love and fascination with the Spanish language and the multitude of cultures and societies that make up the Spanish-speaking world, as well as the deep satisfaction that I get from opening the door to this world for my students. I chose "learner" because, while I may perform the role of teacher in my classroom, I am just as much a student as I am a teacher. I continue to hone my knowledge of my content area, and to learn how to better myself as a teacher, a role model, a mentor, and a colleague.

 


Model Teacher
Model TeacherName: Nyshae Gibson
Content: World Language - Spanish I
School: Booker T. Washington Middle
Years Taught: 6

 

What do you most love about teaching?
I love the impact I am making in students’ lives and the relationships I have built with them. There is nothing that can compare to the moment when a student says, “You’re the best teacher ever,” or “I have been able to do…because of you.”

Why are you passionate about supporting fellow teachers?
My successes in the classroom are not my own. I had a tremendous amount of support and people that I consider model teachers show me the way. I feel that it is important for me to do the same. “Each one teach one.”

What is the best way to describe your classroom on a typical day?
My classroom is noisy, organized chaos. I believe in the immersion program, so it is essential for students to practice speaking and listening to the language they are studying.  We play games, sing songs, and have multiple conversations all occurring simultaneously.

 


Model TeacherModel TeacherName: Joanna Chappell
Content: French
School: Denbigh High
Years Taught: 2

 

What do you most love about teaching?
What I love most about teaching is sharing my love of languages and guiding students on their own language-learning process.  It is incredibly rewarding to see students that have started the year knowing no French at all, having full conversations in June.

Why are you passionate about supporting fellow teachers?
Teaching is an incredibly difficult profession, and unless you have colleagues to lean on, it is easy to get overwhelmed.  I like to think that I could have figured it all out by myself, but that would have been impossible for me as a new teacher.  I have benefitted immensely from my coworkers, administrators, and supervisor, and I want to be able to share the wealth, so that good teachers remain happily in the field.

Why do you love working in NNPS?
I love working in NNPS because of my fellow World Language Teachers!  They truly love their students and their profession, and are always trying to provide creative and meaningful ways to use our target languages in the classroom.

 


Model TeacherModel TeacherName: Wendy Stuck
Content: Spanish
School: Denbigh High
Years Taught: 17

 

What do you most love about teaching?
My students!  At first I thought it was all about teaching Spanish…  That is still a primary goal – to bring a basic foundation, and hopefully a love of learning a new language, to students – but I now understand that I am here for so much more than the curriculum. 

What makes NNPS a great school division?
This is my home, so I am biased.   I live here, and my family and I are actively involved in our community.  We have a beautifully diverse population.  I am pleased with my leadership; I have all of the support that I could possibly need.  I do not always agree with everything, but I am not supposed to agree 100% of the time, and I am pleased that I can ask questions and express opinions (always professionally).  We don't need "Yes Men" and "Yes Women."  I also love our TSS and ITC support.

What is the best way to describe your classroom on a typical day?
My classroom is busy bell to bell with activities to promote language learning and life skills.  We have definite patterns and routines to our activities; students should know what is expected of them.  At the same time we have an immense variety of activities to reach a multitude of learning styles and needs, and there is something for everyone.  As a teacher, I am empathetic and energetic.  I seem to be the teacher students come to when they need someone or something.  Students seem to trust me with what is going on in their lives.  I fight for them – sometimes whether they want me to or not.  Energetic?  I'm the teacher that sings and dances… Oh, yes.  Come join in! 

 


Model TeacherModel TeacherName: Christina Willett
Content: German
School: Menchville High
Years Taught: 10

 

What do you most love about teaching?
What I love most is about teaching is that it is a job that never gets boring. The field is constantly changing and allowing me to grow right along with the students each year so that by the end of the school year I feel like I've learned as well.

What makes NNPS a great school division?
NNPS is a school division that cares not only about the success of its students, but also about the teachers that work so hard to make that possible. This not only makes students feel like they are part of a community of education and learning, but it also continues to encourage the teachers who foster this environment.

What is the best way to describe your classroom on a typical day?
Most days my classes are chaotic but in the best way possible! Students aren't meant to just sit in desks and take notes all the time. They should be and are often engaged in a speaking activity, listening to a partner, and actually using the information they are taught in a way that will be meaningful to them in the future.

 

Logo: NNPS Curriculum Department