Updated 12/14/2012 05:00 AM
State of Education: NY Teacher of the year
During a student assembly at the Webster Central School District, it was officially announced: Greg Ahlquist is the 2013 New York State Teacher of the Year. Vince Gallagher reports.
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Being Teacher of the Year carries with it not just honor, but responsibility, to represent teaching and be able to bring attention to all the great things teachers do," said Greg Ahlquist.
Each year, the New York State Board of Regents recognizes excellence in teaching. Ahlquist has been at Webster for 12 years and teaches AP World and AP European History. He also had a message for teachers across the state: “It's more than a job, it's an opportunity to change lives."
"Each class is another opportunity to change the projectory of a student's posture towards history, school, and the belief that each student out there can be a force of change," said Ahlquist.
But it's more than an award or title. The Teacher of the Year is also essentially an educational ambassador for New York State, representing all teachers and while sharing their own lesson plan.
"I get to share the message of learning and education with different kinds of groups and different state holders across the state, but it shares responsibility of talking about education," said Ahlquist.
We asked some students what they think makes a great teacher.
"The teacher that takes it from just teaching material to teaching things that help you in life and help you grow as a person," said Doug Pagani, a student.
"Somebody who makes the student care about what they're learning and creates a classroom environment that is okay to fail in and from those failures you learn to make yourself better," said Brenna Mason, another student.
Another approach: you teach students, but you also connect with them
"This connection is built on relationship and trust, but it's compassion, kindness, and humility that shapes our work with students...students don't care what you know until they know you care," said Ahlquist.
"He cares about it and he cares about the student, he's the type of teacher that if you're having problems with it, he'll stay after as long as you need him for. He's there for you, he's there to help you,” said Mason.
Mr. Ahlquist will also be traveling across the state sharing his educational message.