Recipient: Sherrie Diamond
Number of years teaching: 20+
School: Netivot Ha Torah
Inspiration/Motivation for being a Teacher of Excellence:
Sherrie loves developing relationships with her students through kindness, friendliness, and unconditional acceptance. She says that it is crucial for her to create an environment where her students succeed. She believes that we cannot expect kids to succeed if they have not experienced success. We attempt new things and strive for success only because we’ve tasted it.
Sherrie can list many who have inspired her to teach with excellence. Two key people are: her late sister Diane who had special needs. From Diane she learned that she needed to treat everyone fairly and with unconditional love. Her class environment is based on this.
The second influence is Israeli author and psychologist Dr. Haim Ginott. His writings have given her the tools she needs to make the abstract concrete, to make every minute in class count and to bring out the best in her students. Sherrie encourages all teachers to read Dr. Ginott’s books.
Sherrie’s nomination came from one of her students. Aitan wrote:
Ms. Diamond is currently my Grade 6 teacher. She teaches a class full of boys which is very hard to do but Ms. Diamond does a fantastic job both controlling the class and showing all the boys that they can have fun learning. She inspires each of us to work up to our potential and motivates us to go beyond what we even expect from ourselves. She not only inspired me to enter a poetry contest but spent her personal time on the phone with me and my friend reviewing and editing the poem.
Ms. Diamond is always enthusiastic about everything she teaches and her enthusiasm is catchy. We are always bringing in things that apply to our lessons and therefore must be thinking about the lesson at home—outside of school. Students feel comfortable talking to Ms. Diamond and know that she will be proactive in helping them.
I feel that Ms. Diamond treats the whole class as if they were her own children. She cares about what we think and always asks our opinions and respects our input. Every question is a good question and Ms. Diamond is always patient and understanding as she answers or lets others in the class answer if they can. Her class is built on mutual respect.