HOLT, MI. (WILX) - In this edition of Schools Rule, WILX News 10 is highlighting a teacher with Holt Public Schools who has earned one of the highest awards in teaching.
Mrs. Zeman with Holt Public Schools is one of only 10 teachers across the state to be named 'Outstanding Michigan Educator of the Year.'
Sycamore Elementary School's third grade teacher now holds the title of Regional Teacher of the Year for Region 6. Region 6 spans Clinton, Ingham, Eaton and Shiawassee counties.
"I feel really blessed to have people honoring me and being able to have a voice in education in the future,” said Mrs. Zeman. "It just makes me realize how we need to celebrate teachers, and what other opportunities can we take to celebrate them in different ways."
More than 400 teachers from across the state were nominated for 'Teacher of the Year' in Michigan's 10 regions.
Zeman says she's honored to have been nominated by a former student teacher she hosted in her classroom.
"Before, I was thinking about what happened in my own classroom and my own school and now in this process, and working with the state level, it's got me thinking about how i can help other people and how I can make changes in education across the state," said Mrs. Zeman.
Zeman has been a teacher for 17 years. Nine of those years have been with Holt Public Schools.
She says her teaching style is all about adaptability.
"I think that it was an experience I had as a child, struggling with reading, and not knowing how to comprehend really well. That was a struggle for me but nobody ever really showed me how to do it," explained Zeman, when asked about why she decided to pursue teaching. "So, going through the years and not knowing how to read well and just kind of knowing the text but not really knowing what I was reading, I said, I want to change this for other people who had this experience."
Those who know Zeman best say the recognition is well deserved.
Patricia says, “She is 100% on, all the time, which can be really hard as a teacher. But she comes every single day and it's a new day, it's a new start, it's going to be the best day ever," said Patricia Cudahy, a third grade teacher at Sycamore Elementary School and a colleague of Zeman's.
"What she helps me to do is we have this, it's kind of like practice reading, we have one minute to read and other people check off our marks and we have our time when we read," said Taylor Munyon, a student of Zeman's.
And the praise for Zeman's work in the classroom just keeps coming.
"She makes learning fun. If you mess up you can do it again, or we have games about learning, like we can spell words about a subject," said Finnegan Ackles, a student of Zeman's.
"People can learn more things and if they get bored they don't get bored because it's like, fun," said Ria Rivera, a third grade student in Zeman's classroom.
With her new title of Teacher of the Year for Region 6, Zeman will help to oversee the future of education by serving on a panel of Michigan teachers for the next school year. Her input will be used to help shape lesson plans and teaching techniques across the state.
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