Baltimore City Schools CEO Andrés A. Alonso announced yesterday Mt. Washington Elementary fifth grade teacher Margaret May as Baltimore’s Teacher of the Year. She now becomes a candidate for Maryland Teacher of the Year this fall.
“Every day of the year we see excellent teaching and learning in our classrooms, but on this one day each year we get to lift up the work of one particular educator, and for me this is a true honor. We get a glimpse into the great work of one individual teacher, and in turn celebrate the incredibly hard work and dedication of so many,” said Dr. Alonso.
Mount Washington Principal Sue Torr, who nominated Ms. May for the Teacher of the Year designation, said, “she has a thorough knowledge of the content she teaches and has developed an array of instructional techniques and strategies that motivate her students to learn.”
Ms. May has taught language arts and social studies at Mount Washington Elementary for the last four years. In both 2007-08 and 2008-09, all of her students scored proficient or advanced on the Maryland School Assessment in reading. But that is not how the veteran teacher of nine years measures her success.
“Every September, I know I have succeeded when my students come back to visit and tell me how much they miss fifth grade. I know I have made an impact when former students look for book suggestions or invite me to a musical they are starring in. When my students beg to stay in my classroom during lunch and recess because they want to read or write more, I know I have contributed to education,” said the star teacher.
Early-on she was drawn to teaching. “My mom [was a teacher and] would get together with her friends, who were all teachers, and I would listen to them debate educational issues and share teaching stories. They all loved teaching and just seemed happy with their jobs. I knew I wanted that same thing.” As a child she would stay up at night watching her mother grade papers and beg her to let her help.
Before coming to Baltimore Ms. May taught in the Fairfax County schools. She holds a master’s degree in education from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.