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The idea that "every child can be successful" is just one of the reasons that Courtney Martin was selected as the 2011-2012 Teacher of the Year for Southeast Elementary within the SISD (Sweetwater Independent School District).
Martin is a first grade teacher and has spent all five years of her teaching career with Sweetwater ISD. She attended Texas Tech University and Sul Ross University and has earned an Associate's degree in Science, a Bachelor of Human Science degree and a Master's in Education with Counseling.
She has been a part of the National Science Teacher's Association, the Beginning Teacher Mentor Program, TCTA (Texas Classroom Teachers Association), and the Math Textbook and the Reading Textbook committees.
Furthermore, Martin has been involved as the 2011-2012 counseling intern at Southeast Elementary, Mentoring Across Texas BTIM (Beginning Teacher Induction and Mentoring), the AACP Bullying Prevention, the Elementary Language Arts Textbook Committee, and TELPAS (Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment) for K-1.
Martin said that she became a teacher in order to teach children responsibility in learning and also for themselves.
"It is my job to provide a learning environment that promotes self-respect, ensures safety, and provides boundaries," stated Martin. "I give students the tools to succeed in life, believe in themselves, and dream big."
She borrows a quote from President John F. Kennedy, who said "Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The Human mind is our fundamental resource.â€ť Martin says she doesn't consider teaching as a job but "a chance to guide, inspire, praise, instruct, and influence young minds to develop that same love for learning."
The importance of education was stressed on Martin by her parents, and she hopes to share that concept to her students while, in turn, they teach her as well.
"Children have taught me how to open my mind and my heart to the joys, the innocence, and the diversity of the world," said Martin.