Written by Maggie Nguyen
It was recently announced that the Teacher of the Month is Donielle Chittick. She was bestowed this honor for all the extraordinary things that she does for our campus. Ms. Chittick is a special education teacher on C Hall. She has demonstrated P.R.I.D.E in our campus, thus making her a shoo-in for this position.
In order to be Teacher of the Month, the teacher must be nominated by the faculty. Ms. Mills, our guidance counselor, took some time to better explain this process:
Interviewer: “Why was Ms. Chittick chosen as Teacher of the Month and could you explain the process?”
Mills: “Yes! Every month our teachers here on the 9th Grade Campus select one teacher that they feel like has stood out in exemplifying our school system, and who have really gone above and beyond their daily duties. So every month, our teachers nominate a teacher of their choice, and that is how our teacher of the month is selected. This month, our teacher of the month was Ms. Chittick, and she was nominated because the teachers have felt that she has done a really good job this year just incorporating some new strategies… Her students are making iced tea for us, and we have really enjoyed that. So every day, Ms. Chittick’s students give our staff the opportunity to enjoy wonderful sweet and unsweet tea and lemonade, and we appreciate that so much. So we really are thankful for her going above and beyond her duties… She has started recycling within our school system. So she has done a really great job in reaching out and encouraging students, as well as staff and faculty members, to recycle here. You can see the recycling bins throughout our school. So we are very fortunate to have Ms. Chittick, and we really appreciate all that she has done for our school system and all that she has done this year so far.”
Ms. Donielle Chittick was also interviewed about being nominated as Teacher of the Month, how she felt about it, her teaching background, and what her goals are as a teacher:
Interviewer: How does it feel to be Teacher of the Month?
Chittick: It feels great! I’m excited! I feel very honored to be Teacher of the Month.
I: What inspired you to become a teacher?
C: I just love teaching students. I loved it when I was in school, and especially working with special needs kids. I worked with them in school, and I realized that it was a passion of mine. And I enjoyed it, so I decided to teach.
I: How has teaching changed your life?
C: You learn so much from the kids that I teach… And it’s changed my life in many ways. It’s taught me patience. It’s taught me how to be more organized. It’s taught me about different kids and their different needs.
I: Where did you graduate from?
C: I graduated from Georgia Southwestern.
I: Was teaching your first major?
C: No, nursing was my first major.
I: What made you change?
C: *laughs* I do not like blood. But I knew I wanted to help kids. I wanted to be in a community service. Teaching was good choice for me. I knew I wanted to help people… And teaching seemed to be a good area to go into, after nursing did not work out.
I: What are you hoping to accomplish as a teacher?
C: I hope to accomplish making my students as independent as possible and teaching them as much as they can learn.
I: What advice do you have for people who want to become teachers?
C: You have to love what you do as a teacher. That’s the advice that I would give. That’s the main thing; make sure that you love it, because you’re going to be working with kids day in and day out. It needs to be something that you have fun with, because kids don’t learn if you don’t have fun teaching them. It wouldn’t make someone want to learn if you’re not having fun and you just sit in that class and you just want to give them worksheets all the time. It just seems like it would be boring. You wouldn’t want to come to work. Think about if you were in that class, would you want to learn? Advice for a new teacher or someone coming in: Remember those teachers that come before you that you loved and what they loved about teaching and they loved about teaching you.
As well as her work with the special needs kids and the enforcement of recycling at our campus, Ms. Chittick has also started a club called “Best Buddies.” The purpose of the club is to develop relationships and lasting friendships with the special needs students and the community. Students may come during their regular class times when they have free time to hang out with Ms. Chittick’s class. Students may also participate in activities with the students such as the Special Olympics, community services, and even a pumpkin decorating contest in October. So if you are looking for an amazing club to be in, consider joining “Best Buddies” during Club Rush.
All in all, Ms. Chittick is a phenomenal teacher who has done many great things for our campus. From the iced tea for the faculty and staff to the recycling bins to starting her own club, she has really gone above and beyond to demonstrate P.R.I.D.E. here at the 9th Grade Campus. Congratulations to Ms. Chittick for being honored as the Teacher of the Month.