Andersen Elementary – Marina Nelson, 3rd Grade
Third grade teacher Marina Nelson has been named the 2020-2021 Teacher of the Year for Andersen Elementary School.
“I am quite passionate about education. I sincerely believe every child deserves to be educated,” Nelson said. “I am not one for much generalizations as many of them have been found to be dangerous. However, I can state with categorical decisiveness that the profession of education is the only profession that influences every other profession. I am proud to have chosen the field of education as my profession.”
When Nelson attended college, it was disheartening to see her peers be intimidated by assignments that required reading. “That was particularly disturbing to me because I took great pleasure in reading and in doing assignments as I enjoyed discovering new knowledge. In college, I would lead study groups, and the people who attended the sessions were always excited about them, and would be eager to learn if I could extend the study sessions to other classes as they were captivated by the way I conducted the sessions. It was during this time that I decided to declare my major … education.
“I then studied and got certified to teach, and then I began the journey to help educate children. Thus now, I am better equipped to help mold young minds, help build confidence in the children, help them develop a propensity for reading and generally sharing my love of education with our children. By so doing, I am deeply gratified and get a great sense of enjoyment from watching the children be enlightened.”
With the advent of the Covid-19 Pandemic, Nelson’s philosophy of teaching has not changed.
“I am still fully committed to continuing my quest to educating children. If anything, I am more devoted to their educational development,” Nelson said. “However, teaching is indeed quite different this year, as classes, of necessity, are set up in a socially distanced manner with the teachers and children wearing masks. Some extra-curricular activities have been put on hold and visits to other classrooms have also been suspended. There is limited physical contact, social distancing and wearing of masks while on campus is mandatory, as is the thorough washing of hands.
“I, for one, miss the physical interaction with colleagues from other schools in the district. It is quite interesting to note that the children have accustomed themselves to the new developments and learning continues uninterrupted.”
Nelson has been teaching at Union Public Schools since 2006. “My first tenure was at Peter’s Elementary. Then I served at Roy Clark Elementary and then I transitioned to Andersen Elementary where I currently teach.”