Teacher of the Year Profiles » Tiffany Maxwell

Tiffany Maxwell

2023-24 Teacher of the Year: South Elementary
Question-Answer Session
 
MaxwellTiffany Maxwell
 

How Long Have You Been Part of the PGCPS Family?

This is my 3rd year at South Elementary and my 14th overall in education. I am technically the Librarian at South Elementary. This year, I am teaching 5th grade while my amazing secretary holds down the fort in Library. In the past, I have taught grades 1, 2, 3, and 5 at Beazley for 12 years and I taught 2nd grade for one year in Chesterfield.

 

Please Share Your Thoughts on Being Named Teacher of the Year & What This Recognition Means to You.

While I am honored to be named Teacher of the Year, I work (and have worked) alongside some of the absolute best in the business throughout my career. 
 
It truly is a team effort and there is not a chance any one of us could be where we are today without those who have helped along the way. From the moment I started this 5th grade adventure, my colleagues jumped in helping in all sorts of ways. 
 
From helping with finishing up my room before orientation, to helping me catch up on grading, and all of the little things in between, it cannot go unnoticed the amazing things my colleagues do each and everyday. We are ALL teachers of the year.

 

What Inspired You to Enter the World of Teaching and Education?

My third grade teacher, Mrs. Lucas taught me that learning should be fun and exciting.
 
She created a family atmosphere in our classroom and we had an absolute blast learning together. I was fortunate enough to go back and volunteer in her classroom as a senior in high school and of all years, it was her final year as an educator. She had a way of making every single student in her classroom feel like her favorite. When we were in her class, she would choose 3 students to take out on a Saturday. My group went to McDonalds and we went bowling. The year I volunteered with her, she came and took me to lunch one weekend. She even attended my baby shower and was there for me when my father passed. 
 
I may not remember all of the content we learned that year, but I'll never forget the way she made each of us each feel. In a world where information is abundant, I can only wish to continue encouraging students to find that love of learning and those feelings of excitement and success that she instilled in each of her students.

 

Do You Have A Special Memory or Moment from This School Year You Would Like to Share?

There are so many! From Graham Cracker Plate Tectonics to our Grinch Classroom Transformation, and every "A Ha" moment in between, I have really enjoyed getting to know these 22 students. While it has been absolutely exhausting jumping back into the trenches, it has truly humbled me to see what our students and teachers are faced with in today's classroom and will surely make me a better librarian in the future.
 
My all time favorite thing has been watching these 22 fifth graders find success. I have loved watching them rally around one another during the difficult times and watching them cheer each other on during those exciting times.
 
It's been a blessing to have one final (in person) class to call my own as classroom teacher. 

 

Finally, What Do You Consider the Most Important Lesson You Help Students Learn?

Sometimes, we don't always know the whole story (and THAT'S OKAY!) The best thing we can do for one another is to always move with kindness and empathy in all that we do.