Willard speech therapist Sharon Roeder said when she found out she was the Berlin Teacher of the Year, she was "overwhelmed and loves working with the kids but was not so much pleased that I had to speak in front of all the faculty."
Each year at the educators' convocation, the Teacher of the Year needs to make a presentation. Roeder stressed out over the presentation until she was done Monday morning.
"I was surprised when I found out because I'm not a classroom teacher," said Roeder, whose two children, Nick and Lindsey, both went through the Berlin School Systems. "So I wasn't expecting it. I would rather be on the floor teaching the kids than speaking in public."
Roeder's presentation was a power point show of her students' voices and thoughts.
"Our job is to give students a voice," she said. "Whether it is verbal or non-verbal, whatever voice that they have, we need to be responsible for that voice.
"The presentation's main message came from all of the students. I asked all of the kids what they felt learning was. The young students said that playing was most important. The fifth graders said learning was more than textbooks. Some said it was about learning from your mistakes. So the presentation used all of their voices and opinions, which took a little bit of the pressure off of me. The kids really did the good work."
David Erwin, tongue in cheek, said Roeder didn't have to worry about being Connecticut State Teacher of the Year because David Bosso was the state teacher of the year last year.
"He said not to worry about it because no town would ever get two teachers of the year in a row," Roeder said with a big laugh. "That made me feel good and more comfortable with it."
Roeder said that both of her children had David Bosso as a teacher and that he had been very supportive.
"He told me that if I needed anything to contact him, which was very nice of him," Roeder said of Bosso. "He saw in my presentation that my daughter had gone to Ghana. He told me he had gone there and wanted to know everything about her trip. He was very supportive."
Roeder said she will go to a special state ceremony at The Bushnell and she will get her own parking space.
"It's funny because I'm always at school very early, usually around 6:45 a.m.," she said. "I always get a good parking spot but now I'll have a parking spot a few spaces closer every day."