June 2, 2021
I kept asking, “Are you sure this is real,” because in education, there aren’t many accolades. We all teach because it’s our passion.
The students went bananas when they made the announcement at school. When the York County Teacher of the Year article was printed in the paper, one of my students came running towards me in the hallway holding up the article saying, “Look Mrs. Goulet you were teaching a student activity! I’m so happy you’re my teacher.” Those moments are what make it worth it.
While it’s humbling and exciting, it’s also scary because receiving the award comes with dedicating a lot of hard work. You’re nominated, you write and submit an essay, your principal has to endorse you, then you do a face to face interview (over zoom). Once you make it that far, you submit a video of a lesson, then submit a portfolio and after all of that, the Maine State Teacher of the Year will be announced. It’s certainly not a crown and sash situation.
When I was a student, I was struggling and knew I needed more help and support. I remember very specifically I wanted to become a teacher so I could help change that for other kids. I know it sounds cliche, but I wanted to be a teacher that kids could make a connection with and build relationships that nurture trust, consistency and follow through. When you build those types of relationships, those kids will learn harder for you and grow more for you because they love and respect you for figuring out who they are as a human.
Social emotional learning has inspired me and helped create deeper bonds with the students. Our district has really let me run with this “outside of the box” curriculum because they believe in it and they are seeing the results. Oftentimes it’s forgotten that it’s not what’s wrong with the student, it’s what happened to the student. I’m a facilitator of learning and how to be a good human. Because of the support I’ve received, I’ve seen growth in myself and I see the value I bring as an educator.
I knew I was meant to be in the classroom. I’m in a district where I can strive and thrive and I’m honored and proud to be here. I’ve been teaching for 18 years now, and I can’t imagine doing anything else.
- Christine Goulet, Biddeford Primary School, York County Teacher of the Year