Teacher of the Year: Joanna McBride

“Children are motivated when they’re engaged. So find a way to hook them in by using what you know about them and their personal interests.”

Fourth-Grade Teacher at British International School of Washington in Washington, D.C.

Nominated by Katie Benson:

“Joanna is a passionate teacher who deeply cares about each child in her class. She treats all children as individuals, diligently supporting and challenging them in their unique learning journey. Joanna fosters very strong relationships with her class, modeling respect, cooperation and effective communication. Using her gentle sense of humor, she empowers children to become curious, independent thinkers and resilient learners. Joanna is innovative in her approach, and is determined to prepare her students for the rigors of the 21st century. So she incorporates technology into her lessons in a purposeful way.

“Joanna knows how crucial parental involvement is for student success, and she involves them continually by celebrating successes and identifying areas that parents can help support at home. Beyond the classroom, Joanna supports the professional development of colleagues, sharing her expertise in technology and STEAM learning.”

Q&A with Joanna McBride

What originally got you interested in teaching?

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a teacher.

Why do you think teachers are important?

Teachers spend so much time with their students. Therefore, they can make a huge impact on their development — in both their learning and as young people.

What is the single best piece of advice you can give parents of fourth-graders?  

Help your children develop a variety of interests by giving them access to a wide range of activities.  

What’s your funniest teaching moment?

As a teacher of 9- and 10-year-olds, every day is fun, funny and different.

Heading into this new school year, what are you most excited for?

New colleagues, new students and new opportunities.

Do you have any tried and trusted ideas or activities for motivating students?

Children are motivated when they are engaged. So find a way to hook them in by using what you know about them and their personal interests.

What are three things you use in your classroom every day and could never live without?

This changes so often. Right now: iPads, super sticky Post-It notes and hand sanitizer!

How can parents and teachers work together to empower and engage children?

Teachers and parents need to communicate. We use an app called Seesaw, which has been transformational for parental involvement in learning in our school.

What is the best thing about teaching in your area or school district?

At the British International School of Washington, we are so lucky to have such an internationally diverse student body. We learn so much from each other’s contrasting experiences every day.

Finish this sentence: If I weren’t teaching, I’d be … incomplete.

About WF Staff

Washington FAMILY Staff

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