Congratulations to our TOP TEN 2017 Teacher of the Year and the Georgia Council on Economic Education Teacher of the Year in Georgia!

Mrs. Vanessa Ellis

Mrs. Vanessa Ellis
Social Studies Teacher & Selected as the “Top Ten Teacher of the Year”

School should be an experience. As a social studies teacher, I strive every day to bring the places I teach TO my students. Fort Service Learning Magnet Academy is a Title I school; predominantly African-American and students are from a low socio-economic background. Many of the young girls and boys I teach have never left the United States, the state of Georgia, the city of Columbus and in some cases, their own neighborhoods. With all that is within me, I bring the world to my students—through videos, pictures, music, dance, costume, foods, literature, and simulations. Teaching and learning should be FUN. Students have to spend 8 hours a day at school. Why should their learning be painfully boring? Classrooms should be democratic. Students should have a voice in the learning process and their input should be valued. Students should face academic challenges, regardless of their academic ability. Differentiation is one of those current buzzwords; however, it is vitally necessary. Not every student learns the same way or even at the same pace. Teachers should be enthusiastic and passionate about their craft and inspire students to be life-long learners. One of my all-time favorite teaching quotes from Horace Mann is “A teacher who is attempting to teach, without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn, is hammering on cold iron.” Lastly, I believe in teaching the whole child. Imparting knowledge is just one aspect of teaching. Educators must promote the social and emotional learning skills students need to be successful throughout their academic careers and the workforce.

Congratulations for being selected as a “Top Ten Teacher of the Year” and for representing “The BEST Middle School in the World!”