April Davis – Fifth Grade
2012-2013 Teacher of the Year
April Davis, a fifth grade teacher at Andersen, was named the school’s Teacher of the Year for 2012-2013 by her peers.
“I am a teacher because I love working with children,” Davis says. “I love their way of thinking and how each child is unique. Every child in my class is made to feel cared for and respected as an individual. I want to teach my students not only what they need to learn, but to value themselves and their education. I love the moments when my students are excited to share a thought or idea with me about something they’ve learned in class; that moment when something they’ve really been struggling with clicks.”
Davis’s favorite teaching method is to gather her class together on the carpet to teach whole group interactive lessons.
“I enjoy watching my students talk with one another, debate, and share their opinions on a variety of subjects and ideas,” Davis explains. “After leaving whole group, small group and individual conferences blossom because of the thoughts and feelings they expressed together. Reluctant talkers are more likely to express their feelings during individual conferences after leaving the whole group discussion.”
One topic being discussed by many adults is testing. It is a concern for Davis.
“Children are expected to display mastery at the end of the year by taking one standardized test in each subject,” Davis said. “Student test results have many effects on our children. Our students are anxious about test scores and what these scores will mean for them and their academic future. I learn far more by reading and talking one on one with my students than any state test will ever demonstrate.”
Davis started teaching at Union in 2006.
“As a ‘lifer’ at Union myself, I got to see first-hand the incredible opportunities Union had to offer. I had many examples of great teachers and role models throughout my learning career. Union has great resources, such as technology, the most up to date books and learning materials, as well as a safe learning environment for all students. Union stresses collaboration as a part of the teaching curriculum which keeps each teacher accountable and provides teachers with the opportunity to grow as individuals as well as teams.”
Davis is a ‘lifer’ when it comes to learning as well, and hopes to pursue a master’s degree in teaching in the near future.
Davis graduated from Union High School. She received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Oklahoma State University.