NJEA Review : 2019-2020 New Jersey State Teacher of the Year
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NJEA Review : 2019-2020 New Jersey State Teacher of the Year


A Camden County teacher was just given
the highest honor for educators. Today, the Garden State is celebrating the
newest New Jersey State Teacher of the Year. Imagine if your favorite teacher
was the New Jersey State Teacher of the Year! The # 1 educator in the entire state of New Jersey, Kimberly. New Jersey’s State Teacher of the year Kimberly Dickstein Hughes. I think I was I think I was called to be a teacher pretty early on
in my life every job or volunteer opportunity I’ve ever been a part of had
some element of teaching or learning in it I student taught I had the moral high
school in 2008 that solidified for me that I was in the right place I’m one of
Kimberly’s mentors she was finishing up her graduate program at Rutgers and she
was placed luckily for me and the rest of the community here in Haddonfield and
she taught my senior English classes her student teaching experience here was
incredible not only for the students of Hattin field but actually for myself as
well she brought an energy and a passion to the classroom and she taught the
seniors in our English class how to really become invested in their
education and I think that was probably one of the most valuable points of her
being here student teaching here was eye-opening it was enlightening because
I learned that as a teacher you have to trust yourself I wouldn’t be Who I am
today without my cooperating teachers supporter I’d be able to grow with my
mentors as colleagues and now really close friends Julie read at my wedding
she’ll be a part of my life forever and so will this place my husband and I chose to get married
and I haven’t done real high school because this place has given me so many
gifts I rented the space like I would have filled I listed my students to help
I had a student acapella group sing it was exactly what I had imagined because
in every other culture the whole village comes to celebrate the marriage and
there was no way I could really achieve that without bringing my marriage to the
village 2020 New Jersey State after I was
announced New Jersey State Teacher of the Year these school community and town
had a fire truck parade for me for winning a state championship and so I
was really excited to be a part of that that parade which is the confluence of
all of my worlds whether it was my students my colleagues bring them on in getting laid I’ve had to pick up all of
my County teacher friends for this convention but happy to drive them there you know I roll in style you know I got
courtesy the NJEA so for this year I’ll be taking the car around the state of
New Jersey and visiting all 21 counties we’re going being named State Teacher of the Year is
not only a great honor but also a call to action it is my hope to share this
platform with as many educators as possible
so we can celebrate and recognize the great work happening in all classrooms
across the state I too want to address the American dream
and also the same question as Jacob what struggles and failures of each character
face in the pursuit of the American dream
Kimberly was selected as Haddon fields Teacher of the Year because her students
put forth her name without a doubt her students are her biggest champions
because she makes them better people and they realize and appreciate that mystic
seems a great teacher she always is encouraging she always likes to talk
about what’s going on in our lives not just what’s going on in the school
this Dickstein is one of the smartest women and nicest women I’ve probably
ever encountered and I admire her for everything she’s done she’s working on
mr16 is definitely a role model she’s one of the teachers I have the greatest
impact on my life to this point because she cares about you on a personal level
with every single student that she has I have been volunteering with the Alicia
Ruiz Victoria’s foundation for 17 years my best friend Alicia was diagnosed with
a rare form of cancer in the first week of our sophomore year and she was given
four months to live at that time Alicia fought her battle with cancer for
thirteen months and had passed away seven days after her 17th birthday and
that was incredibly difficult for all of us her parents had started the Alicia
rose victorious foundation and what we do is we work to improve the quality of
life of hospitalized teams that work 17 years ago really taught me how to
activate ideas and how to advocate for others and how to mobilize communities
that was really about how do you serve the greater good all of the community
development that I started with Alicia rose Victoria’s foundation when I
started teaching I really organically started building communities around what
I was teaching dear good there you’re good there all right I teach of
Shakespeare and Greek drama elective and when I started teaching that I really
started thinking about like what is the community around this content today
sound ghost all right back to sanity back to centre
so I created this community around Team Shakespeare and then I started teaching
the world literature course so teaching a book called a long way gone about a
former child soldier my concern was that could my students understand the
experience of the author I’m sure they could read it but I didn’t want them
just too little meant the world’s woes I wanted them to do something and so what
we started was a Skype exchange with a former child soldier in South Sudan his
wife and children we’re back in South Sudan and he was in Kenya we started a
GoFundMe the concern was that he didn’t have access to the $90,000 he needed to
demonstrate to come to this country to earn his degree and so we mobilized
writing blog posts writing letters writing tweets knocking on doors talking
to strangers sharing his narrative and learning also how to sell that narrative
and then on August 17th 2018 grang arrived in Atlanta Georgia and this
whole process made the cover story of the NJEA magazine it really transformed
how our students saw their experience with the book and you take action beyond
the book and so I really just hope my students when they walk away from all of
this exactly we can do more you can and if you walk around every single day
saying I can this world would be a much better place

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