CARTERVILLE — This week’s Orthopaedic Center of Southern Illinois MVT–Most Valuable Teacher Award–goes to Mr. David Butler, a Special Education teacher at Carterville High School.
Butler specializes in math and personal finance. Even though this year has been quite a challenge not being able to have face to face learning at all times, Butler said his classes have still gotten all the work in, even though it may look a little different.
“I wouldn’t say condensed,” Butler said. “I would say creatively finding ways to get what I need out of kids in a very timely fashion. Efficiency is what I’ve really geared myself toward this year.”
‘Every time I do a video, I always video the exact things I’m working on example-wise, so if students need additional support, I have a video posted with the examples I go over in class, so they can support themselves. They can email me specific questions, and I can respond back or do a Google meet with them individually.”
The efficiency in Butler’s approach comes as no surprise considering his background. He’s a Captain in the Army Reserves. Butler missed most of last school year while being deployed in Afghanistan. His fellow teachers say he came back with nothing but positive energy, despite having to deal with the pandemic.
“Working to a standard, and trying to find ways to organize myself,” Butler said. “Being highly organized is something I’ve really had to do this year. My organization is huge.”
“A lot of the kids have done very, very well,” Butler added. “It’s been difficult on them, but we’ve just found creative ways to work with them individually and meet their needs individually. That’s something I’ve always done, but it’s especially important this year.”
While the circumstances this school year are not ideal, Butler believes there are definitely positives to take away, and things he will use going forward.
“The electronics–I really do like giving kids paper copies of things, but I also like giving them the option to have electronic version and copies of things,” Butler said.
As far as his biggest takeaway from this school year?
“We’ve all figured out that we’re stronger when we unite,” Butler said. “We are a lot more persistent than we thought we were when we’re tested. When people are tested, they get the opportunity to come out on top. We get to exhibit that here in the classroom, students on up to the faculty and teachers.”
In his nomination, fellow teacher Jake Towers had this to say: “All of his students know that he cares about their success, not only in the classroom but their success after high school. Mr. Butler is a great role model for all students.”
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