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Katie Watkins Wins NWPE Grant
posted by: Cindy Omlin | May 05, 2015, 07:08 PM   

Congratulations to Emmett, ID, teacher Katie Watkins who was recently presented with a $300 Classroom grant from Brenda Miller, Northwest Professional Educators’ Regional Director for Outreach and Membership in Idaho.  A new teacher, Katie finds that “building a solid, engaging, and interactive curriculum for students can be especially trying when the resources are not available.”

katie watkinsMs. Watkinds, a 9th and 10th grade English teacher at Emmett High School, will use her grant to purchase a classroom set of Markus Zusak’s book, The Book Thief. She will also purchase supplementary resources such as a film adaptation of the novel, test/worksheet packets, and a poster of the book cover.  These resources will help her students answer their sophomore English class’ guiding question, namely, “How do we reinvent ourselves to reflect our current culture?”

Ms. Watkins notes that Zusak’s The Book Thief will provide her students with an entertaining plot combined with historical and cultural context outside of their familiar one as this particular book is set in Germany during World War II.  Students will do in-depth research and produce a comprehensive project to reflect their depth of understanding of themes, character motivation, conflict resolution, plot development, and literary devices.

A brand new teacher, Ms. Watkins expresses what many younger teachers express as the future of professionalism in education, namely, independence, choice, and evidence.  “In my opinion, the best idea for raising the professionalism of teaching as a career is simply by teachers taking control of their own profession.”  Additionally, she acknowledges that, “Data and evidence have the ability to sway an opinion.  As teachers, if we can show data and evidence of a higher quality of teaching and learning, it will definitely raise the level of respect for the profession.”

We support Ms. Watkins and her desire for a profession marked by independence, professional control, and evidence of high quality teaching and learning!

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