Model Teachers at NNPS

Model Teachers:
Middle School English

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

Michael Mitzel

Content: Middle School English
School: Huntington Middle
Years Taught: 11

What do you most love about teaching?
I reap the largest reward when I see my students making connections. I love to see them connect one aspect of our lesson to another concept or class and then apply their new learning with confidence. I enjoy seeing students engage with the content beyond the required homework or test and use the skills learned in the classroom in the real world.

What makes NNPS a great school division?
NNPS is a great school division because of its student centered approach to teacher training. Newport News provides abundant support for its teachers though ongoing development and classroom coaching. Professional development is tailored to meet specific student needs, allowing NNPS teachers to bring their best so they can reach each student. Additionally, NNPS has fostered a genuine sense of community within its classrooms and across each building giving teachers access to a number of division-wide resources.

Why are you passionate about supporting fellow teachers?
I am passionate about supporting fellow teachers because I love collaborating with others. Often we find ourselves needing additional support. I've found that the best way to overcome obstacles is by partnering with someone who has experienced the same kinds of challenges. As we work, we strategize and develop a plan together that we can both take away and add to our classroom toolboxes.

Grace Rivera

Content: Middle School English
School: B.T. Washington Middle
Years Taught: 16

What do you most love about teaching?
I think many teachers can relate to the sense of joy you get when a student really gets something for the first time. That thrill is what made me decide to be a teacher, but I love the whole process of teaching, too. I like taking a skill, breaking it down, and figuring out the best way to teach it. I like trying a lesson with a group of students so that I can see if they are learning it how I planned, and I enjoy figuring out what to do next to challenge those who "get it" right away and to help those who are still struggling. Most of all, I love watching students grow over time and seeing them become better readers and writers across the span of an entire year.

Why do you love working in NNPS?
NNPS is amazing because of the support and professional development opportunities that are offered. From working with colleagues in content teams, to technology training and PD, to instructional coaches coming in to conference with students, there are many opportunities to grow as a teacher and to do what is best for our students.

Why are you passionate about supporting fellow teachers?
I learn so much from the teachers I work with every day that it would be hard not to want to help others in return. Teaching should always be about sharing ideas and strategies so that we can all figure out what works best for our students. It might be technically possible to teach on your own, but we are definitely all better teachers when we work together and support each other!

Jonathan Sims

Content: Middle School English
School: Passage Middle
Years Taught: