FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Julia Goodrich, a third grade teacher at Gordon Elementary School was named 2011 North Carolina Department of Defense Education Activity teacher of the year.

Goodrich, a two time teacher of the year awardee has been with the school for three years. She joined the Patriot Family in 2008.

Goodrich said that early in her college career she wasn't necessarily settled on being a teacher.
"When I was in college, I had a hard time choosing a major because I really loved everything," said Goodrich. "I started as a math major."

Even though her mother taught elementary school, Goodrich point out that it was her love of variety that swayed her to become a teacher.

"I decided that elementary education would be a good mix for me simply because I loved all aspects of teaching," said Goodrich. "It really gives me a chance to transfer my love for life into teaching."

Every day Goodrich handles a classroom filled with students who are at different levels of mastery in a variety of subjects. Despite the varying levels of mastery, Goodrich challenges and helps all her students strive for the best.

"Today the teacher's role is not to be a lecturer or a direct teacher to the whole class," she said adding, students are constantly assessed so that the ones who need more experience in order to master a skill get it, and those who have mastered that skill can gain further experiences in something else.

Goodrich said she pushes herself to be a better teacher by making sure that her students find success early and often.

"A perfect day is not a day that doesn't have any (educational) bumps," said Goodrich. "It's a day when students have maneuvered around those bumps and have still gotten to their goal.
My goal is (that) at the end of the day when a child leaves that they're happy with that day."

"When we do something that is a whole class project, I want everybody to have mastery," said Goodrich.

"I want them to be proud of it when we set it out somewhere because one success builds another success."