Sherri Hane was recently named the 2016 Elementary Science Teacher of the Year by the Board of the Michigan Science Teachers Association.
The winner was chosen for using or modeling best practices, inspiring students, demonstrating innovative teaching strategies, being an excellent role model for students and other teachers, demonstrating leadership, and exhibiting a passion for science and for teaching.
Born in Alma, the oldest of seven children, Hane moved to Ann Arbor when she was in first grade. She attended Freeman Elementary, Clague Middle School and Huron High School before earning her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Eastern Michigan University. While teaching in Ann Arbor, she completed her master’s degree in educational technology at EMU.
The Pittsfield Township resident is in her twelfth year of teaching, and now team teaches third grade at Dicken Elementary.
She and her husband, Derek, and their three children, Brandon, Jessica and Tyler, have all attended AAPS from K-12, and all five are graduates of Huron High School. Daughter Jessica is in her second year of teaching third grade in Durham, N.C.
Profile and photo by Jo Mathis/AAPS District News Editor
What was your reaction to this recent honor? My principal shared the news during our morning announcements. My students were cheering, I was so surprised. I felt honored to be part of an amazing school district that has taught me so much.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about teaching? About learning? The most important things that I have learned about teaching are to be patient, excited and to embrace differences. The curriculum can be taught however if my students are not engaged it is difficult to learn. I have learned that every lesson can be and should be engaging, interesting and inquisitive. Grab their attention; make them want to hear more. I always try to apply it to real life. When they can make connections, it makes sense. I have learned to create an engaging environment, nurturing their natural curiosity.
Which apps and websites would you recommend to other teachers? I use the NGSS website to check standards while teaching my curriculum.
http://streaming.discoveryeducation.com is a great website to show educational videos.
http://www.islandtrees.org is a great collection of sites we use to study biomes. There are many other science topics as well.
Science A-Z – has great resources that can be used for all topics.
What is the most rewarding part of teaching? The most rewarding part of teaching is seeing the light in my students eyes when they grasp a new concept or the excitement they have when they find learning fun. When my students want to skip recess so that we don’t have to stop a lesson, I know I am doing things right.
Who inspires you, and why? My students inspire me. When I think of where they are in their lives and where they are headed, I know it is up to me to provide them with the skills and inquisitive minds that will drive them to success.
Who was your favorite teacher, and why? Don Lyon, my fifth grade teacher. He made science interesting and fun. To this day I still remember a game he played with us at fifth grade camp. We were all assigned an animal we had to become and then turned loose in the woods. The goal was to survive. You had to know if you were a predator or prey and to whom. I would not have remembered that lesson had I read it in a book or listened to my teacher talk about it. He made a difference.
What has surprised you most about the profession? The amount of fun I can have in a classroom full of students!
What do you wish everyone realized about the work of a teacher? Teaching is a passion, it comes from the heart, it is hard work and can’t be mastered from a book. Teachers teach more than the curriculum. Everyday is a different day, we cannot assume our day will go as planned, there is always a back-up plan or two. We have to be able to change in an instant due to any number of variables. Our students arrive each day with many unknowns. We comfort, hug, wipe tears, solve problems and love our students. We take from our homes to supply our classrooms; we provide food and clothing for students in need. We motivate, inspire and lead, we change lives. Teachers do more than give grades, we teach life long skills.
What would you tell a college student considering becoming a teacher? When you are committed, it is the most rewarding job in the world. There is nothing easy about being a teacher, but it is worth every minute.
What do you like to do when you’re not working? When I am not working, I love spending time with my family. I enjoy playing games, reading, bike riding and listening to music. I also like to camp, take long walks, and be outdoors.
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