Chelsea Miles, recent college graduate and Aim Higher Fellow, was selected as the October employee of the month at Tooele Junior High where she teaches 7th grade language arts in Tooele, Utah. The award she received is called the “Passing of the Flame” (because the trophy looks like a flame).
She was nominated by a co-worker because of her flair for creativity, her ability to keep track of the standards that teachers are required to cover, and because her kindness and patience with all the students with whom she works.
Chelsea is so excited about this award. She has only been teaching for a few short months and finds herself second guessing her choices and questioning her approaches with students. By receiving this award, it has helped her gain some perspective and realize that she is making a positive difference – no matter how small – in the lives of the middle school students that she teaches on a daily basis.
Says Chelsea, “On days when I feel like everything has gone terribly, I’ll have a student come up and tell me that I’m their favorite teacher or I’ll have a breakthrough with a student that has been struggling. It’s surprising how much power and influence I have with them, and every day, I try to make sure I’m using it in a positive way.”
While she feels honored to have received this award, it’s not the faculty-wide recognition that keeps her motivated. She’s most excited to see her students actually learn what she’s teaching and then use it to make their lives better. This is what makes her job worth it!