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Brittany Taylor-News Gazette Teacher of the Week!

Congrats Mrs. Taylor! Keep up the great work!

Click here to see the original article

From the News-Gazette, September 9:

On Wednesdays, we'll spotlight a difference-making area educator. To nominate a teacher, tweet to education reporter @Nicole_Lafond with the hashtag #TeacherOfTheWeek.

This week ...

Meet Brittany Taylor, a sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade language arts teacher at Bement Middle School who has never asked her students to read from a textbook during class. Her daily goals include not only making learning fun, but also carving out time to get to know her students on a personal level.

— What's the best way to get students to pay attention? I usually start with some kind of story; they especially enjoy when the stories are about my life because they can relate to me and get to know me better.

— Three items on my desk ... My lesson plan book, a high-heel tape dispenser that the students love to use, and my Chromebook to remind me to post attendance every hour.

— Teaching supply I can't live without ... My promethean board since it always helps in engaging the students more or my whiteboard since it is much easier and cleaner to use than the old chalkboards. I also could not live without my different colored pens and felt tip markers.

— Funniest question a student has ever asked? During a spelling test I was reading the words and one of the students seriously asked, 'Does spelling count for this?' All I could do was laugh.

— My favorite pastime (other than grading, of course) is ... Traveling and spending time with family and friends. Over the summer my husband and I visited four different states, and we frequently embark on weekend trips to spend time with family, go to the lake, or attend a sporting event.

— If I wasn't a teacher I would be ... Some type of journalist.

— Relaxing summer activity I miss the most ... Being able to walk my dog and get her energy out during the day while soaking in the warm sun and trying to get a tan. I will also miss having coffee sitting on my deck or lying in bed in the morning.

— My favorite food is ... Chocolate, especially peanut butter M&Ms.

— What subject do you enjoy teaching the most? Reading comprehension strategies... It gives me a chance to use picture books as model texts for the students in middle school who have become accustomed to reading novels. I also enjoy reading historical fiction novels with my students because I am helping them to improve their reading skills while also being able to teach them about the past in a different and exciting way that helps to engage them.

— Social media I use most often ... Facebook as it is a good way for me to keep in touch with my family and friends who do not live around here. I enjoy being able to see pictures of exciting things they are doing while also still communicating with one another.

— I am always texting ... My husband or my mom.

— Time you get to school each day? Between 7:15 and 7:30 because I like to be prepared for the day without rushing around. I also choose to come earlier to school because I coach two sports and know that I do not have a lot of time after school to plan and prepare.

— What does your morning routine look like? I generally try to wake up around 5:00 a.m. to walk the dog or do a quick workout. After that I shower and get ready for the day. During the morning, I also pack my lunch as well as my husband's lunch and make our breakfasts as well. I usually leave for school a little bit after 7:00. My drive to school is about 10 minutes, so when I arrive to school I check my emails and make sure that I have all materials and supplies ready for the school day with the students.

— My favorite local restaurant is ... Seven Saints or Old Chicago.

— My favorite book is ... One of the authors that I read the most is Nicholas Sparks, and I have read every book he has written so far. I am really enjoying the fact that they have started to make many of his books into movies!

— The best day of the week is ... Friday. Almost everyone is happier on Friday because they know they made it through the week and they have a few days of rest coming up. The classroom seems to be a much more positive place where learning is really able to take place. Friday is also a great day because we are able to recap and realize how much we have accomplished in the week. I also really like Saturdays because we get a chance to sleep in a bit!

— One item on my bucket list is ... Traveling to Ireland.

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