Williston Teacher Wins National Award | VideoEvan Kruegel | 11/28/2012
"It`s not so much the basic language arts class where you get the book, get the paper and learn, but rather learning through creativity, imagination, while still setting the good standards that we`re supposed to learn", said eighth grader Tessa Mettler.
Toavs` teaching ability has earned her a Teaching Excellence Award from the National Education Association. She was the North Dakota Teacher of the Year two years ago, and last year was nominated by the teacher`s union for the National Teacher of the Year award. This award speaks to the quality of professional development throughout Williston Middle School, something Toavs is especially proud of.
"I think that`s one of the most unique parts about this award is it really is about what makes the school environment a place where teachers can excel."
Her students say her class is the best part of their day. When they arrive, they know they won`t just be reading out of a book for 50 minutes.
"She lets us use our imagination in our work a lot more than any other class, so that gives me the opportunity to show who I am,” said Dorian Mounce.
"When she gets stressed she doesn`t take it out on us like the other teachers, she walks us through it calmly," said Maren Gwinn.
The award will send Toavs and 37 other teachers to Washington DC for an Excellence in Education Gala in February, and to Brazil next summer to study that country`s educational system. She`ll also receive a stipend from the NEA to help further teacher development at the middle school.
"The entire purpose of the award is to recognize schools and what`s going on for teacher development in grade schools, so it`s targeted towards professional development and it will all go into helping the entire staff get more training in the things that we`re trying to deal with right now like expanding school systems and crowded classrooms. So hopefully it will be good use for all of us and we`ll all benefit,” she said.