* UPDATE: Sixth-grade English/language arts teacher Wendy Baker, featured recently in Talk Up APS, learned she’s been named a Master Teacher!
Inman Middle School eighth-grade teacher Emily Boatright would like to say she’s joining a select company, but when it comes to Inman, Master Teachers almost seem like the rule and not the exception. Just as the 2009-10 school year winds to a close, Boatright learned that she was named a Master Teacher, which is mainly based on her students’ consistent ability to make gains on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCTs).
Boatright brings to eight the number of Master Teachers at Inman, the highest number among Atlanta Public Schools. (Note: With Wendy Baker’s selection, that number increases to nine.) “This is great because they’re tracking the same kids you’ve been teaching over a period of time, and showing their gains,” said Boatright, who also runs the school’s Beta Club. “With an honor like this, you get invited to things like conferences, and that aspect appeals to me.” (Another Inman teacher, Pamela Andrews, was selected in the fall to serve on the 2009-10 Superintendent’s Teacher Advisory Council.) “It’s like, here’s proof that I’m doing well. I know it; it’s just nice to have it validated in some terms. Really, it’s an honor, especially at this school, where there are so many outstanding teachers.”
Inman faculty and staff place a high priority on collaboration and sharing best practices, which seems to help lift up everyone’s performance level. “When you get three or four people collaborating, you get more than just your own perspective; you get ideas that can work for all students,” said Boatright, who took one idea on how to implement technology into the classroom and had students make videos on book reports as newscasts based on their subject matter.
“She’s always positive, and has a supreme confidence in the kids’ ability,” said Inman Principal Dr. Betsy Bockman. “No matter what I ask her to do, she does it.”