Vanessa Mudd Site Teacher of the Year for Roosa Elementary
Like many teachers, Mrs. Vanessa Mudd's childhood was filled with chalkboards, stuffed animal students, and a label maker. As her children entered school, she could not stay away and volunteered to the point the school hired her as a paraprofessional. She watched and learned to teach with love and understanding. She remembers the first time she personally felt the joy of teaching after working with a student who was struggling, saying, “ A student was struggling with multiplication, and I came up with a different way to teach math by putting symbols in the problem instead of numbers. We worked the steps with those symbols, and he started to learn how to do the work. When he had the concept mastered, I showed him how to plug the numbers in place of the symbols. I watched as he did the work independently! It was AMAZING! I had taught this child! I knew I had to go to school and be a teacher; it was my calling!” Mudd prides herself in thinking outside the box to help students discover the love of learning and the love of books.
Being an outstanding teacher is not just a job; it is a passion and a way of life:
“Our students come to us to learn and it’s our job to shape them into productive members of society.” Teaching content is one thing, but Mudd wants students to think and act independently, be compassionate and respectful. As the Library Media Specialist, she uses books to help students discover their feelings, emotions, responses, consequences.
In addition to teaching library science, Mudd performs pre and post assessments on her students’ verbal and written skills. The data collected allows her to create lessons to address the standards and individual students’ strengths and struggles. Additionally, “This data can be used to improve teaching” and “the teacher can then determine what can be done to help the student be successful in learning.” Mudd knows the importance of a team approach between herself, the parent, the classroom teacher, and counselors to ensure all students are successful.
Because of her desire to partner with the community and advocate for public school, Mudd serves as the Communication Cadre’ at Roosa. She loves telling stories, celebrating successes, and sharing positive experiences taking place inside her school.