Recently, the six schools in the Milford School District announced their nominees for Teacher of the Year. The nominees will compete for the title of District Teacher of the Year which will be announced in May. Milford Central Academy’s Sherry Geesaman is proud to have been chosen as the nominee for the 2016-’17 school year.
“It is a great honor. I am very proud to represent my school as teacher of the year. There were many people nominated for this award; people who I consider really great teachers,” said Geesaman. “I was very surprised when they announced my name as the teacher of the year. I felt so proud when my entire class started cheering and clapping for me.”
Geesaman went back to school for a teaching degree in 1991 after a career as a legal paraprofessional. She graduated from Wilmington University as an Elementary Education major. After doing her student teaching in elementary school, she thought that was where she wanted to teach until she ended up teaching seventh grade.
Geesaman moved away from teaching for a few years when a friend asked for her help in writing the charter and curriculum for a charter high school. When the school opened, she became the Dean of Instruction at the high school for three years.
“While that was a huge learning experience, it was very stressful and I went back to teaching,” said Geesaman. “I had taken a writing course years before with Mrs. Carnevale and she remembered my name when my resume came across her desk. She called me for an interview and I have been at Milford ever since.” Geesaman is a Lead Mentor for the district and the Vice President of Teachers with the Milford Education Association. At Central Academy, she is the Instructional Coach for the ELA Department, co-advisor for the National Junior Honor Society and a recent graduate of the Schools that Lead Teacher Leadership Initiative.
Geesaman enjoys watching her students when they finally understand a lesson they have been trying hard to comprehend. “You can actually see his/her eyes light up with excitement when they realize they have made the connection and understand the concept you were teaching,” she said. “I love hearing kids explain something and follow up to what another student has said. It’s exciting to me because it makes me feel like I have made a difference.”
The biggest challenge she sees in education is trying to reach the students who just do not care. “For whatever reason, and there are many of them, education at this particular time is just not important to him/her,” Geesaman said. “It’s disheartening to watch a student choose not to learn when you know the potential is there.”
Geesaman wants incoming teachers to understand that teaching is not easy. “There is never enough time to get finished what you have to do in a day. Teaching is mentally draining to the point of exhaustion on most days,” she said. “You will have to work weekends to keep up with everything. You don’t “get summers off.” There are good days and bad days and sometimes the bad days are really frustrating because usually you have no control over why the day is bad. It is heart breaking and heart-warming and I’m so glad that I’m a teacher.”
Her everyday inspiration comes from her colleagues. “The never ending passion they have for what they do in the classroom is truly inspiring,” she said. However, her biggest inspiration is her daughter who is also a teacher. “The discussions we have every morning on the way to school inspire me to be a better teacher and a better person.”
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