February Teacher of the Month
High school English teacher Nicole Madere says she always keeps her own kids in mind when she plans her lessons at University View Academy. She says she knows what keeps them engaged and how they learn best and uses that as a guide for her students. It’s her first year at UVA but has taught for the past 12 years. Nicole says she was ready for a “change and challenge and looking for something new” from the walls of a brick and mortar school. She says “it’s been really fun” turning what she taught and tailoring it to the online environment of UVA.
Even though Nicole loved to play school as a child, it wasn’t until high school that she thought about teaching as a vocation. She says it came due to the influence of one of her teachers, Peggy Bordelon. The impact of the relationship in that English Composition class propelled her into college at the University of New Orleans, and to the teaching ranks with Ms. Bordelon, her mentor to this day.
One pleasant surprise Nicole says she enjoys in the online environment of UVA is that she’s able to build relationships with her students even though it’s not the face-to-face interaction of a brick and mortar school. She says the phone calls and messaging may be a different form of communication, but she knows just as much about her students.
Nicole says the most rewarding part of her job is the live sessions where she can see the students “… engaged and excited about what they are doing, working together and supporting each other”. She says it “Makes me feel proud that they are my students and they’ve exceeded all the expectations I had set for them.” Adding to the sense of accomplishment, a parent who attended one of the live sessions that called to thank her. Nicole says the parent talked about how “… awesome the lesson was.” Teachers thrive on that kind of feedback.