Harrison’s Jensen named ‘Teacher of the Year’

October 19, 2018

By Pat Maurer
Correspondent

Hillside Elementary Teacher Heather Jensen, a fifth grade teacher at the school for the past 25 years, has been named 2018 Elementary English Teacher of the Year by the Michigan Council of Teachers of English.

Jensen, who has a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Arts in Reading from Central Michigan University, said the award confirms “that I am doing the right

Heather Jensen

Heather Jensen

thing for my students.” She said the award motivates her to continue to strive for that excellence.

The administrators at Hillside and Harrison Schools are very proud of her.

Jensen supports positive change and uses literacy to support all areas of her students. She said, “I believe books build empathy and guide us to be better humans.” She said she hopes to find the perfect book to make her students into “readers.” When she and her students read the book “Love” by Matt de la Pena and Loren Long, they liked it so much that Jensen started a media campaign to get the book into other schools in the area and distributed 71 copies of the book to each classroom in Hillside and to Clare, Farwell, Beaverton and Gladwin. Other copies went to the Mobile Advocacy Center, foster homes, day care center, St. Jude’s Hospital and the Clare County Jail.

She also has her students write their own stories throughout the year encouraging them to be authors.

Jensen has co-authored, with Hillside teacher Amy Romanowski, two resource books: Core Democratic Values Resource For Lower Elementary and Core Democratic Values Resource for Upper Elementary.

Jensen is also a teacher consultant for the Chippewa River Writing Project and has served in leadership roles with the Michigan Reading Association.

The Michigan Council of Teachers of English Elementary Teacher of the Year Award annually recognizes an outstanding literacy educator who teaches in grades K-5.

To be considered for the award, the ideal nominee:

*demonstrates a strong commitment to creating a caring and respectful climate conducive to effective teaching and learning.

*utilizes a variety of teaching methodologies and plans innovative learning experiences to meet the needs of all students.

*shows originality and unique perspectives in the teaching of language arts.

*has earned the respect and admiration of colleagues and students.

*is a member of MCTE and has taught for at least 10 years.

*provides service to the profession at the local, state, or national level through leadership, presentations, or publications.

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