Cedar Valley Teacher of the Year: Monica Collins

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“I just do what works, and what works for each student and each class period is different,’” said Collins. “I strongly believe there is no “one size fits all” approach to teaching.”

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]CV_TOY_PageIn Monica Collins 18 year career as a professional educator, 2017 marks her third win as a Teacher of the Year. Collins, an eighth-grade Social Studies teacher at Cedar Valley Middle School, describes her teaching style as bespoke or custom made.

“I just do what works, and what works for each student and each class period is different,’” said Collins. “I strongly believe there is no “one size fits all” approach to teaching.”

It’s not uncommon to find students in Collins classroom practice construction of the Transcontinental Railroad or work on an Industrial Revolution inspired assembly line. She even had to fire a few of them for not meeting their production goals.

“One student went on strike. Another refused to work until he could renegotiate his pay and although I explained he had no union representation at that time, he wouldn’t budge,” said Collins.

In addition to eighth grade Social Studies, Collins teaches citizenship classes to adults who are seeking citizenship. As a PBL lesson she engaged her students to create high-interest, graphic rich study guides for the class; in addition students wrote letters about the rights and responsibilities of being a US citizen. This project earned Collins class a “Cool at School” feature on KEYE-TV.

“She loves students, is service oriented, and constantly looking for ways to help improve Cedar Valley,” said Cedar Valley Middle School Principal Matt Groff. “Just this year Monica secured two grants from Humanities Texas for displays for our Cedar Valley community.”

One of the Texas Humanities displays was for an exhibit about Dr. King and his role in the Civil Rights movement. A group of Collins students formed a Black History Month Committee, performed additional research on the Birmingham Bus Boycott and contributed additional signage to the display.

Collins considers her humor, well crafted atypical lessons and students as her trademark. “A teacher is only as good as the accomplishments of her students,” said Collins.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][vc_raw_html]JTNDaWZyYW1lJTIwd2lkdGglM0QlMjI1NjAlMjIlMjBoZWlnaHQlM0QlMjIzMTUlMjIlMjBzcmMlM0QlMjJodHRwcyUzQSUyRiUyRnd3dy55b3V0dWJlLmNvbSUyRmVtYmVkJTJGTDJUWkF1QzFGcHMlMjIlMjBmcmFtZWJvcmRlciUzRCUyMjAlMjIlMjBhbGxvd2Z1bGxzY3JlZW4lM0UlM0MlMkZpZnJhbWUlM0U=[/vc_raw_html][/vc_column][/vc_row]