iteach Certified Teacher Named Teacher of the Year
Like many, Megan Hall didn’t know what she wanted to do professionally right out of college. She worked as an electrician, processing tech, car salesperson, and banking professional before the pandemic hit in 2020. During Covid-19, she decided she wanted to make a change in where she was headed and turned to a career in education.
Today, she has been honored as Teacher of the Year at Arlington Preparatory Academy and District-level Teacher of the Year. She currently serves as the Department Head of Science on her campus at Arlington Preparatory Academy.
Ms. Hall knows the journey is a prominent part of the process, and she thanks iteach for being part of her story.
The Research Process to Becoming a Certified Teacher
When the pandemic hit, Ms. Hall enrolled in courses to become a bioelectrical engineer but quickly realized that was not the right path for her. She started to think about the options available to her with a 4-year biology degree and decided to look into teaching. She wanted to be more hands-on and make an impact daily.
She took her search to the internet and quickly found iteach.
“When you google search, iteach is right there, and I thought, does this work? Through research, iteach seemed to be my most viable option.”
The iteach Experience
For Ms. Hall, the iteach process was smooth, and being able to work through the program at her own pace fit her needs seamlessly.
“I had the ability to handle the personal stuff, but I didn’t know the ins and outs of the methodology of teaching, and iteach provided me with that.”
Even with a mentor program on campus, Ms. Hall found the most support from her iteach mentor, Molly Williams.
“Molly gave me more insightful feedback than I was getting at any other turn. She explained how I could improve the wording of my objectives and lesson plans and helped me recognize many small things to improve the larger scope and picture.”
iteach mentors, like Ms. Williams, support teachers in the iteach program at every step of the way. Whether that is how to improve a lesson plan or a little encouragement to keep moving forward, mentors during this process are vital to the success of new teachers.
“If I ever needed her, all I had to do was email her. She also provided me with her phone number.”
“Molly gave me the space to believe in myself. She was very qualified, saying you aren’t doing it wrong.”
Ms. Hall noticed that in her first year of teaching, she was mostly alone with the students, making it difficult to gain the confidence to ensure she was progressing down the right path. With the support from an iteach mentor to watch lessons and provide feedback, iteach educators have a substantial advantage in ensuring they are equipping their students to be successful.
“It felt good to hear her feedback and get her ratings on me because I wouldn’t have known where I stood without that.”
How iteach Curriculum Prepares for the Classroom: Day One & Beyond
“The knowledge I gained from the first couple of [iteach] chapters was essential to what came next.”
The iteach curriculum has been revised over the 20 years the company has operated to ensure it prepares teachers for the reality of the classroom.
“The first-day checklist was my bible because I had such anxiety going into that classroom. It helped me get my legs underneath me so I had somewhere to go from the first day. The first day sets the tone for the rest of your time there.”
Ms. Hall is vigilant in ensuring she helps her students know she is there for them to help them develop as whole people.
“The first day I was there, they asked me if I was another sub, but I told them, ‘I am your forever teacher now.'”
She believes that her connections with her students are a big reason why she was selected as the Teacher of the Year on her campus and why the recognition continued at the district level.
Being Honored as Teacher of the Year
When learning about the honor, Ms. Hall said, “It is validation. It is a huge honor. I never thought I would achieve these things and that my work would be validated and appreciated in such an important and visible way.”
Her fellow teachers nominated her for the school award, and then she advanced to district selections. The process required her to complete written and verbal responses and share a recorded classroom video.
“To be recognized as a positive influence and having a positive impact rather than the negative connotations associated with people who look like me, that was a big deal to me.”
A Beautiful Mentor & Mentee Connection
Her mentor, Ms. Williams, came to Ms. Hall’s Teacher of the Year reception to support and congratulate her.
“Molly wrote one of the recommendation letters. It was beautiful and made me cry. I didn’t know that is what she thought of me.”
In her letter, Ms. Williams shared how Ms. Hall helps her students feel seen and has established a true learning community in her class to build on each child’s strengths. She said that after observing many good teachers of the last decade, Ms. Hall stands out as an exceptional educator.
What Keeps Her Motivated to Teach
“When you are able to break through the false stories and see that lightbulb come on. To me, that is the magic.”
She constantly challenges her students to question their preconceptions and encourages them to pause and think to make better life choices.
“We are creating whole people, and we need to help create whole people who are successful.”
Her advice to people considering becoming future teachers is, “If you have life experience and empathy and you want to make an impact, just do it. The best route is the most direct, and iteach will get you there.”
At iteach, we are so thankful to bring teachers like Ms. Hall into the classroom to impact students’ lives. Congratulations, Ms. Hall! We will root for your Teacher of the Year win at the state level!
If you want to become a teacher, start our program today!