Tuesday was National Teacher Appreciation Day, which accounts for the medals and certificates team-teachers Demeatrice Clark and Wanda Nash received from principal Noah Gordon at Memphis Business Academy Elementary School in the Berclair community.
Gordon gave all of the school’s teachers a medal and a certificate to show his appreciation for their hard work. National Teacher Appreciation Day, also known as National Teacher Day, is observed on Tuesday of the first full week in May. The day is part of Teacher Appreciation Week.
“We are all committed to building a relationship with each of our students,” Gordon said. “When we get to know them, we are better able to provide wraparound services. Because most of our children are Title I, they may need social services in the family home.”
You can’t teach a child effectively until you build an effective relationship, Gordon said.
At Memphis Business Academy (MBA), third-grade teachers Clark and Nash exemplify the art of relationship building.
“We have been successful over the past five years because we both put our students first,” said Nash.
Clark says their two-member, teaching team has “good chemistry.”
“We understand how important relationship is between ourselves and our students,” said Clark. “No matter what kind of home life the child has, we set expectations high for everyone because we believe in our students’ ability to learn. We let them know that they are being taught life lessons as well as preparing for the state’s standardized test.”
The duo uses a system of rewards and consequences for behavior.
“Our approach is to maintain consistency in our classroom to build trust and confidence for our children,” Nash said. “They know we will always be there. Ms. Clark and I are good friends, and I believe that translates into a more healthy and stimulating classroom, where real learning is actually taking place.”
Each teacher leads the instruction in the areas she excels in.
“Relationship is the difference between good classroom performance and great classroom performance,” said Clark. “Since well over 90 percent live in poverty, our roles as teachers, counselors and friends to our students become more vitally important.”
Dr. Menthia P. Bradley, chief operating officer, said Clark and Nash have shown immense dedication to MBA students (executives) and their colleagues.
“They have helped develop our children academically and socially and have been valuable anchors at our flagship elementary school. Hats off to this dynamic duo, these academic all-stars. They create a formidable force in transforming lives in the classroom.”
The school’s CEO, the Rev. Anthony Anderson, also commended the teaching team.
“Teachers are the number one human capital in the world because they have the power to inspire our young people. During this Teacher’s Appreciation Week, we are excited to celebrate them and other educators, who are taking valiant strides in improving literacy, math assessment levels and grooming life-long learners.
“As we continue to grow MBA schools, we look forward to working with these awesome professionals for many years to come.”