Our latest Welcome To Sanford Teacher of the Week is Mary Beth Stec, a second grade teacher at Deep River Elementary School. Mrs. Stec holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education, both from East Carolina University. She was also honored as Deep River Elementary School 2017-18 Teacher of the Year.
One Mrs. Stec’s most notable academic accomplishments was her recent National Board Certification. The certification process is based on high and rigorous standards, designed to recognize accomplished educators in our schools. The performance-based assessments can sometimes take a few years to complete. Mrs. Stec comments, “I just want to be the best that I can be and this was a great opportunity to further my career and knowledge of best practices in the classroom. All of the hard work and weekends spent pulling my hair out was all worth it in the end.”
It’s been said that learning is fun and fundamental in Mrs. Stec’s classroom. She incorporates hands-on activities and unique learning experiences, even reaching out to the community to plan events that complement the standards being taught, from Dr. Seuss visits to the butterfly lady to musical guests. She is constantly adjusting her teaching to better meet those needs.
It’s fair to say that Mrs. Stec loves teaching and the enrichment that both students and educators gain from the process. She observes, “All students in my classroom are encouraged to become a better version of themselves. They are allowed to take chances and make mistakes and are exposed to intentional activities that encourage them to be lifelong learners. You might think that helping students learn is the most important part of your job, but the best surprise is that you will actually learn more from them than you could ever imagine. Teaching is a beautiful journey.”