Our March 3 Dream Big event featured one of the highlights of our year--the Teacher of the Year awards. This week we're introducing all three award recipients on our blog.
Jake McDuffee, a First Grade Teacher at Winchester Village Elementary, received our Teach Like a Champion Award. With this honor he received a $1250 cash prize to be used as a personal reward (courtesy of the Slaughter family) and a $2000 scholarship from the American College of Education. Congratulations!
Jake McDuffee has spent his 14-year career a dedicated champion of the transformative power of reading, both as a grade school teacher and literacy coach.
McDuffee served as a key player in developing a district-wide literacy program that led to the implementation of small group reading strategies for struggling readers in Perry Township grade school classrooms. As a peer leader he trained fellow teachers in long-term reading and writing strategies.
Inside his classroom he’s faced with a handful of significant challenges, one of them being that his classroom literally has no walls. But with an achievement-driven mindset he is able to champion his students to overcome the distractions and focus on their learning.
One of the biggest challenges is that 65% of his students are English Language Learners, many Myanmar refugees from a language with over 20 dialects. A high number of his students aren’t only able to understand him, but each other. But McDuffee sees the challenge as a positive, viewing Winchester Village as more like an “International School."
McDuffee turns to Teachers’ Treasures to overcome both the barriers of teaching English and making sure his students have the supplies they need to succeed. He produces special reading and writing lesson packets to send home, and to ensure there is no excuse to not complete the lessons, he also sends with them every tool they need to finish. This has not only motivated the students but many of their parents, encouraging them to learn to read and write in English alongside their student.
Many Winchester Village teachers and staff have praised McDuffee as an educator who tirelessly works to provide support and resources to his students. His seemingly small act of providing supplies has given them the confidence they need to walk into the classroom while understanding the value of education.
Duffy’s resourcefulness, creativity, positive outlook, and ability to inspire his students and their families are just a handful of reasons we are proud to honor him as a Teach Like a Champion award recipient. Congratulations!
Teachers' Treasures supports Indianapolis area teachers and students in need by distributing free school supplies through our teacher store. Learn more here.