THIS MONTH'S WINNER:
Jordan Holland, Ingleside Middle School
Nominated by Jordan Alfaro
Ms. Holland is my 7th grade language arts teacher at Ingleside and she makes class and learning fun. By making class fun, it gets the students more engaged in class, which in turn, leads to better grades. I really enjoy being in her class. She deserves to win because she is a great teacher and really cares about her students and their success in her class.
How long have you been teaching at Ingleside?
This will be my fourth year at Ingleside. I did my first clinical observation and student teaching here, and I loved it so much that I knew it was where I wanted to begin my career.
What grades have you taught?
I have always had 7th grade as a section but have split grade level with 8th grade and 6th grade. Seventh grade is my favorite to teach.
What’s the best part about being a teacher?
My favorite part is developing bonds with the kids. Middle-school kids are so funny and have such big personalities. We hold great conversations and have so much fun. I enjoy coming to work every day not knowing what will happen. It’s never a dull day in the middle school world.
Why did you want to become a teacher?
My grandparents and stepdad were teachers, so I had always been exposed to the behind-the-scenes of education. I watched the difficulties of the job first-hand, but more importantly, I saw how rewarding it was. Teaching makes you feel like you are making a difference in the world, and I think that’s what attracted me to the profession.
What is your class learning right now?
Right now, we are finishing up The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. This novel is one of my personal favorites, so it’s been fun to implement it into our curriculum and use it to teach things like plot structure, theme, literary devices and mythology.
How do you connect your lessons to the real world?
My class tends to focus on a lot of discussion and text analysis. This year, we are fortunate to have a new ELA curriculum that implements several real-world topics into informational texts, discussion questions, and other activities. Teaching how to conduct conversations about what is going on in the world respectfully and inclusively is one of my key focuses as a teacher.
What’s it like teaching in a “new” environment?
I’m not going to lie; it’s been one of the most challenging times of my life. Adjusting to unprecedented situations and additional precautions has been a lot to add to our already very full plates. I am appreciative to have very supportive coworkers and administrators that keep me sane through it all.
How do you motivate your students?
I have found that incentivizing them with learning games is a great way to increase motivation. In my class, students earn “Fun Friday” by behaving and completing work during the week. If they do well, they get to do learning and review games on Fridays. It’s a great way to review what we’ve learned while still making it fun for students.
Where are you from?
I grew up in Flagstaff. I was born and raised there. I love that area so much, but after 18 years, I was ready for a change. I had always been a huge Arizona State University fan, so I decided to move here for college in 2014. When I got the job at Ingleside, I decided to stay. My favorite part of the Arcadia area is Camelback Mountain and Arcadia Park. I frequently hike up Camelback and love to walk through the park. Arcadia is such a gorgeous area!
Winning teachers receive an award certificate and special prizes. Thank you to our sponsors: Postino Arcadia, The Joffe Group and The Phoenician Spa.
All winners are invited to an end-of- school year celebratory luncheon. Nominate a teacher you love at arcadianews.com.