2019 Southeast High School Teacher of the Year

World History Teacher Jennifer Wilmes

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Jennifer Wilmes
Southeast High School
World History

How are you working to increase equity in education and opportunity for students in your school?
I have been involved in the process of creating field trip opportunities for students to build background knowledge. Once a month two fellow teachers and I select 30 students to take on field trips. These field trips are aimed at providing experiences to build background knowledge for student engagement. Even though I did not create this project, I am dedicated to following it through and using this project to provide experiences to students in order to engage in the learning process.

What message about public education do you want to share?
In my opinion, one of the major public education issues that teachers must deal with is how students attention are consumed by social media and cell phones. This is an issue I believe all districts are dealing with, regardless of the socio-economic status. This issue is important to me because young adults are not able to limit their cell phone use. Some adults are not capable of putting their cell phones down. This can create problems inside and outside the classroom. Today, young adult are using cell phones and social media daily. Young adults will use their cell phone for immediate gratification and as a way to distract themselves or avoid real life. I speak with my students about cell phones regularly, we discuss how their are times and places where cell phones and social media are ok to use. We talk about the benefits of this technology, but we also talk about how this technology can inhibit us from growing and learning.

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