Rebecca Lynn Mieliwocki – 2012 National Teacher of the Year
2012 California Teacher of the Year and the National Teacher of the Year
Luther Burbank Middle School, Burbank, CA
7th Grade English
What are Rebecca Mieliwocki’s reasons for joining the teaching profession?
If you never want to be bored again, become a teacher. If you want a job that forces you to refine your craft, become a teacher. Do you want to change lives for the better? Become a teacher. Want to laugh until your guts ache? Become a teacher. If you take your mission very seriously but yourself less so, become a teacher. Do you have a driving passion to show children the magic of writing, reading, math, science, history, art or technology? Become a teacher. If you don’t mind getting sneezed on, become a teacher. If you can work tirelessly to find imaginative, effective ways to help kids learn, become a teacher. If your shoulders are strong enough to be cried upon by students, parents, and co-workers, yet can withstand the enormous responsibilities of educating young people, become a teacher. If you want a front row seat to the future, become a teacher. And if you want to make radical change in the world and know you can do it within the humble confines of a classroom, then you MUST become a teacher.
For this seventh grade English teacher, becoming an educator, and an effective one, goes back mainly to linking all of the effective practices she saw in various teachers she had as a student to what she does with learners today. One of those key learnings included the importance of always expecting the best from students. From learning to trust at the hands of a supportive kindergarten teacher who recognized her shyness as a child, to being pushed by a college communications professor who knew she was capable of more, to the fostering of creativity by her second grade teacher who incorporated his love of guitar music in his teachings, to the teacher who could easily switch back and forth between academic language and teenage vernacular, Mrs. Mieliwocki draws on those experiences to help students feel she is one of them. She is a friend, albeit one with high expectations, who help you to maximize your potential and feel amazing about yourself. She infuses everything she touches with boundless, positive energy. I can’t say enough in support of this wonderful teacher and she even makes me want to have more children just so they could attend her class.”
2012 National Teacher of the Year, Rebecca Mieliwocki, from Burbank, Calif., appears on CBS This Morning discussing her love for education, her approach to teaching, and challenges facing teachers and students.
President Obama honors the 2012 National Teacher of the Year, Rebecca Mieliwocki, a 7th-grade English teacher in California's Luther Burbank High School, and recognizes and thanks all the Teachers of the Year.CN1120-6103-1214