Jaime Pitkin is ‘Teacher of the Year’ in East Hartford
By Frances Taylor - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Fri., Jul. 8, 2011
According to East Hartford Middle School Principal Nathan Quesnel, Jaime Pitkin is “the kind of teacher that every principal wants to have on their staff.” Pitkin, a math teacher, has been named “Teacher of the Year” in East Hartford.
Pitkin, who teaches math to seventh- and eighth-graders at the middle school, has been teaching for 10 years. She was nominated by her colleagues, and receiving the town award puts her in the running for Connecticut Teacher of the Year, to be decided in the fall.
“She demands a lot from herself, and is always looking to be better,” Quesnel said. “She cares about the students and holds them to a high standard. She does not accept anything except their best.”
Pitkin, who teaches general math, pre-algebra and algebra, said she appreciated the fact that the staff and her fellow teachers chose to nominate her for the award. “It's great, and it's great to be recognized by your peers,” she said.
Pitkin said that finding ways to help students learn math and algebra in a hands-on way is what she likes most about teaching. “I love creating lesson plans and finding ways to engage students,” Pitkin said. The use of smart board technology in the classroom has helped her to give students real world ways to understand mathematical concepts, she said.
“I can create a PowerPoint presentation that they can manipulate to better understand math in ways that are much more interactive,” she said.
Going forward, Pitkin and teachers from other cities and towns across the state will undergo a nomination process by the state Department of Education. Semi-finalists will be selected in mid-September, and the 2011 Teacher of the Year for Connecticut will be announced in October.
The teacher of the year is expected to serve as an ambassador of public education, and becomes a year-long consultant to state boards and national boards on a range of education issues.