Model Teachers at NNPS

Model Teachers: 5th Grade

Meet this model teacher team and learn how college, career and citizen-ready skills come alive in their classrooms!

Colleen Budlove

Grade: 5th Grade
School: Riverside Elementary
Years Taught: 19

Why are you passionate about supporting fellow teachers?
As a new teacher, I learned so much from my colleagues. Working with teachers who were amazing collaborators has shaped me into the teacher I am today. It has always been my goal to give back to other educators in the same way.

What do you love most about teaching?
Building relationships with students and colleagues is what I love most about teaching. These relationships allow me to help my students grow both academically and socially. The relationships with my coworkers help make it a positive work environment and enable us to collaborate among grade levels.

Jasmine Blackwell

Grade: 5th Grade
School: Achievable Dream Academy
Years Taught: 7

What do you love most about teaching?
I love interacting with children every day! My classroom is relaxing, but we also have a lot of fun. Students are constantly talking, and we ask a lot of questions! There is so much love and respect in our classroom. I really feel like I make an impact on my students.

What word best describes you as a teacher and why?
Patient and empathetic. I understand how children feel and I like to do my part in caring about their feelings and allowing them to share and be a part of a classroom community.

Why do you love working in NNPS?
I grew up in Newport News Public Schools. I appreciate how the district has grown, and I would love to be a part of the continued growth. I know that teaching is hard; I just hope that I can provide something that other teachers find useful.

LaToya Sawyers

Grade: 5th Grade
School: Jenkins Elementary
Years Taught: 15

Why are you passionate about supporting fellow teachers?
I love seeing students learn and blossom. I love turning them into respectful and smart citizens that will add to this world and not subtract.  It's the fire that burns deep, down, inside of me for each and every child I come in contact with; no matter how I may feel, that fire will automatically ignite with love, high expectations, and a belief that all students can and will be great in this world. Time is something we can't get back, so every minute or moment in the presence of students needs to matter. It's an energy of real love and real belief that I give to any and all kids. I believe they all can learn, no matter what.

What do you love most about teaching?
My classroom is an environment of love, respect, and high expectations. We operate as a loving family that cares for one another. My classroom is a positive learning environment that concentrates on leadership and modeling behaviors. You will hear kind words in my class, and you will see students helping each other.

What is the best way to describe your classroom on a typical day?
RESPECT, I believe respect goes both ways. I respect my students, they respect me, and, in turn, they respect each other. I respect their lives by caring and believing in their futures, and, because I care about their futures, I have high expectations for them all. They all matter and they all have purpose.