Brittany Taylor doesn’t want her Rockvale Middle School students to just sit and listen as she teaches history lessons — she wants them to be completely engaged while they learn.
Taylor is the most recent winner of the Tennessee Council for the Social Studies Teacher of the Year award. A previous applicant, Taylor’s win this year is no doubt in part to her skills as a teacher, creative lessons and love for content.
“They have a committee of teachers, historians and principals,” Taylor explained in a news release from Rutherford County Schools. “I was nominated and then I had to write a lesson plan and teaching philosophy. I submitted my biography along with letters of recommendation.”
Taylor began her teaching career in 2012 as a student-teacher at Rockvale and has always had her heart set on teaching at the school since her first year. She’s a May 2012 graduate of MTSU’s College of Education with a degree in elementary education.
“In 2012 I taught here,” Taylor said, “and I fell in love with middle-schoolers, and I fell in love especially with Rockvale. So, I added on my endorsement and taught one year at Smyrna Middle with ELA (English Language Arts). Then I’ve been here ever since teaching history.”
The wall behind Taylor’s desk is decorated with certificates and plaques of recognition for her teaching achievements. Her nomination for TCSS Teacher of the Year 2019 is there, too. The award is nice, Taylor said, but more important are the students.
“I can’t imagine leaving the classroom. What I love about my job is the kids and seeing them learning something new and then finally getting it. Just the excitement they bring to the content itself. I love thinking about ways that I could help them grasp something that maybe they’re struggling with or making something more fun,” Taylor said.
Taylor’s teaching style and incorporation of elements that appeal to kids is commendable. It’s clear in her classroom the success of her students is a priority.
“I try to incorporate other subjects as much as I can,” Taylor explained, “like writing, because if they’re able to write about what they’re learning I can easily see – oh! They got it!”
Read the full release here.
— Story by Grayson Lee Maxwell, Rutherford County Schools