MVT Week 21–Paige Timmerman

SALEM — This week’s Orthopaedic Center of Southern Illinois MVT–Most Valuable Teacher Award–goes to Mrs. Paige Timmerman, an English teacher at Salem Community High School.

This is Timmerman’s ninth year as a teacher, sixth at Salem. Timmerman’s classes have in person as well as remote students at the same time.

“I’ve used technology here and there before,” Timmerman said. “This has forced me to really dive into the pool, and I’ve gotten a lot better especially using Google and understanding how to use technology to help my students.”

Timmerman teaches a senior class focused on writing that is a dual credit course through Kaskaskia College. Through a grant from the Illinois State Libraries, the school received a cart of books, all published in the past five years, all dealing with social issues in today’s society. Timmerman’s class is divided into small groups, with each group reading and discussing the book as they go.

“A lot of them are reading about police brutality cases, or poverty or teen pregnancy is one that is focused on a lot,” Timmerman said. “My students are getting to see these social issues through two different lenses. Through the lens of research as they are using it for their research project to fulfill the requirements for the community college, but they also get to see it through a human lens through that novel. I’ve read all the books, and I just love sitting down and talking to them about it and hearing how the persective of the issue has changed now that they’re seeing a character go through with it.”

“I love when we can finally get all together and share what we’re thinking, because so many perspectives come out of reading,” Timmerman added.

Whether it’s through the books they’re reading or from their own writing, Timmerman says these are great ways to help get her students through these tough times.

“Everybody has a story to tell, especially right now,” said Timmerman. ” I think writing is a really good avenue to cope. I like to help my students find that coping mechanism through their writing.”

“A lot of people underestimate how optimistic high school students are,” Timmerman added. “I still love seeing the glimmer in their eyes whenever they get excited about reading something.”

In her nomination, Ivy Balla wrote: “She is a teacher dedicated to her craft. She is National Board Certified and continually reads the latest professional development books to help meet the needs of her students. She spends weekends, summers, and evenings creating lessons that will foster critical thinking. She utilizes the technology at her disposal. She fosters a love of learning in her fellow teachers and students. She provides authentic instruction and allows students opportunity to reflect and grow as students and as citizens. In the past she has created a job shadowing unit that has helped students find employment and gain insight into potential careers. Paige also writes a monthly blog post that details her experiences honing the writing skills of her students. She is truly a reflective practitioner. Not to mention, the most important part, she connects with students and they LOVE her.”

If you know of a Most Valuable Teacher, let us know. You can nominate a Most Valuable Teacher here.