Such teachers are best recognized by a set of shared traits.
They harbor a passion for helping.
They cradle a deep desire to grow the potential of impressionable young minds.
They empathize with the plight of youngsters who yearn to know but who haven’t harnessed the means to learn.
They remember the frustrations of having a question but not the words to ask it.
They cherish the absolute of a fact and bask in the chance to prove its merit.
They believe in the value of every child and rise to the task at hand in building their worth.
They savor the textbook, honor the lesson and nurture the message of both.
They see every student as a noble cause whose successes tomorrow hinge on spoken words today.
They envision a goal and build bridges toward its achievement.
They understand the premise that leaders are not born; leaders are instead made.
They embrace the technology of today to better define lessons learned from the past.
They recognize life is no bowl of cherries, but the fruits of their labor will one day yield an orchard of opportunity.
Teachers who teach best are those who recall the thrill of learning. These are the instructors who are most adept at influencing the course of education.
It is why Gov. Bill Haslam has handpicked Dr. Jason Robinson, a proven teacher at Ocoee Middle School, to serve on the state Textbook Commission.
Robinson’s selection by the state leader comes as no accident. His qualifications for identifying the best possible textbooks for use in our schools are seemingly unmatched. He oversees the science, technology, engineering and math program for academically talented students at OMS. He also is on the sixth-grade administrative team.
He was named Bradley County Teacher of the Year in 2002 and 2010, and in 2011 he was a finalist for Tennessee Teacher of the Year.
Robinson’s talents are given not only to developing young minds at the middle school level. He is an adjunct professor in the Helen DeVos College of Education at Lee University. Robinson also develops leadership conferences and science events for students throughout the United States and abroad.
The selection of the respected middle school instructor came as no surprise to Johnny McDaniel, director of Bradley County Schools, who told our newspaper, “Gov. Haslam has made a wise choice in electing a proven educator with a heart for students and the expertise and experience to meet the challenge set forth in this extended role.”
The OMS instructor also has drawn the praise — and rightfully so — of Dan Glasscock, supervisor of secondary education for county schools. In Glasscock’s assessment, Robinson brings two key strengths to the classroom every time he walks through the door.
First, Robinson has an unparalleled commitment to his students. And second, he offers a vision that extends well beyond the parameters of Bradley County Schools. His wish for quality education among local students is the same for pupils across Tennessee and throughout the nation.
The Textbook Commission is comprised of 10 appointed members. They include city and county school superintendents, a principal, one teacher or supervisor from grades 1-3, one from grades 4-8, one from grades 9-12, and one member from each of Tennessee’s grand divisions who is not employed in the educational system.
Robinson’s selection will place him in the company of education visionaries. He will learn from them which speaks to the open-mindedness of this young teacher.
Most importantly, his newfound colleagues will learn from him.
And that’s just what great teachers do.