Since 2017, Charter School Capital has held an annual essay contest celebrating exceptional teachers. We call it the Dewey Awards, in celebration of Mr. Richard Dewey – a teacher who provided exceptional mentorship to our founder and CEO Stuart Ellis. Every year we get a brilliant selection of stories written by students from charter schools all over the nation. This year’s winners are featured here. But each of these stories is worth sharing.
This week we bring you a story written by Ashley Hardman, about Mrs. Hannah Sutton of New Summit Charter Academy, in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
I met Mrs. Sutton in 2019 as her teacher’s assistant. She was young, bubbly, and always smiling. She had the best laugh and was great with her students. After working with her a little I learned that we were both from the South and we began to share stories of growing up in a very similar way. We joked about our accents, foods that we loved, and places to visit.
She quickly became more than a coworker and became a close friend. I have learned more from her than I thought possible, everything from teaching techniques, navigating technology, to be a true friend. She was always quite creative with her first-grade class in helping them learn math concepts with number bonding with Big Mama’s House, to hearing her funny voices during storytime, to her fun Sparkle games to learn sight words.
I was so delighted when my own little first-grader was placed in her classroom the following year. No longer her teaching assistant, but now a parent I knew that my little one was in great hands.
Coming back to school after being out the entire spring due to COVID, no one really knew what to expect. Thankfully we have a wonderful school that recognized the importance to evaluate each student’s need.
We are now only finishing the first quarter of school and already my girl is reading quite a bit more than she was when she started the year. She loves school and enjoys math. She often has asked for more homework. There are only so many years we have with them and to know that her teacher is truly instilling a love of learning in her students is the best I could ask for.
Our homework every day is in google classroom, so if an e-learning environment is needed again, I have no doubt that her students will not only be ready, but they will be successful. I truly couldn’t ask for a better teacher and friend!