CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Hamilton County Schools honored the district’s three teachers of the year today at a lunch at the Public House restaurant.
“I don’t know if you’ve heard, we have a Forrest Kindergarten class, and Sam can be found most days outside in what we call our forest.”
Samantha Eaton is one of the winners of the school system’s teacher of the year award, and she explains what that means.
“I was the first teacher in the State of Tennessee to start a Forest Kindergarten program in a public school. We were the first one in Hamilton County, we’ve had visitors from all over the country, come to see our program because it is so unique; modeled after the forest kindergarten programs of Europe, but, because we are still in a public school, we follow all the same curriculum, well, same standards, and I adapt the curriculum based on student interest and what we’re discovering in the forest.”
Two other teachers explain about their styles and challenges.
“One of my biggest obstacles and challenges, is finding out what motivates each student to learn, and creating an individual program for that student.”
“I like to make it as real as possible, um, sometimes that could be actual applications of math, but I like to, I like to introduce problems to them that are not necessarily quote/unquote real world, but just interesting. And if I heard somewhere, someone say, a math teacher say that, if you can have an opinion about a problem, then it’s real to you. So if you can have them have arguments, argue about something in a productive way, it ends up creating a more exciting class.”