Mannheim teacher named best in DODEA
Angelica Jordan teaches students Spanish in the full immersion language class at Mannheim Elementary School in Germany. Jordan was named Teacher of the Year for all schools in the Department of Defense Education Activity for 2011.

MANNHEIM, Germany - Mannheim Elementary School Teacher Angelica L. Jordan was recently selected as the Department of Defense Education Activity's 2011 Teacher of the Year.

"I'm thrilled, excited and honored," Jordan said. "I'll have the opportunity to influence policy and to share field experiences and educational priorities with decision makers."

Jordan, a 15-year teaching veteran, is a partial Spanish immersion and Spanish teacher to second and third grade students.

Jordan earned Teacher of the Year title for the Heidelberg district in May, and she will now compete for the National Teacher of the Year, DODEA announced in a press release Nov. 3.

"Miss Jordan collaborates with her colleagues to build consensus around learning themes and best practices. Her belief in teaching teams and their power to accomplish more than individual teachers has helped her school analyze assessment performance and design of standards-based lessons that deliver differentiated instruction in the classroom and positively impact student achievement," said Marilee Fitzgerald, acting DODEA director.

"These practices have helped students at Mannheim Elementary transcend the challenges of transitions, deployments, and separations," Fitzgerald said.

In Mannheim, the collaboration is called Bobcat Bonanza, and Jordan is a specialist team leader. At the end of the school day, she meets with students in one grade level - all second grade one day, all third the next and so on.

Students get to know other in their same grade while their teachers are freed up to meet with each other for planning time. Jordan said she culminates lessons in "celebrations" when the students' parents are invited to see the work they've accomplished during bonanza time.

This kind of work, she said, build relationships.

"Education is about building relationships. That means relationships colleague to colleague - building teaching teams that are strong - relationships with parents so there's the home-school partnership and building relationships with students," she said.

"Once I know a student's likes and dislikes, I can differentiate my lessons to meet their individual needs," she added.

The DODEA Teacher of the Year selection panel cited Jordan's "... support of the community in teaching a Spanish pre-school group and her involvement in a Mothers of Multiples support group."

Jordan's own 4-year-old twins are being taught to speak three languages, English, Spanish and German.

"I believe that children are at an advantage when languages are taught as early as possible ... The connections their brains are making by learning new languages at an early age are phenomenal. Not only will they be prepared for today's interdependent, global, 21st century society, but their other academic skills will benefit for years to come. This is the advantage I trying to provide for DODEA students as well," she said.

Bradford L. Seadore, assistant principal at Hainerberg Elementary School, was Jordan's colleague in Mannheim for four years, and said, "Her work helped us to target lower-performing students and develop academic enrichment plans toward remediation."

Seadore also said she is a team player, offering expertise to the second-grade team through collaboration.

"Beyond the school, she is involved in the community by providing school enrichment courses, serving on the School Improvement Team and the School-Home Partnership/Public Relations Committee," Seadore said.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16