Behind every great student is a great teacher. These teachers make learning fun by thinking outside the box and creating classroom experiences that resonate with their students. They serve many roles in their schools, as spelling coaches, school bee coordinators and judges; more often than not, they are motivators who encourage their students to be the best they can be. In the “Teacher Feature,” we celebrate these educators and their commitment to their students' education.
In our first "Teacher Feature" of the 2017-2018 school year, we are highlighting the work of Tammy Wittmann, a eighth grade English Language Arts teacher at Madison Middle School in Appleton, Wisconsin. Madison Middle School is part of the Wisconsin State Journal's spelling bee program.
Therese Gross, the spelling bee coordinator at Madison Middle School, reached out to the Bee about her colleague Mrs. Wittmann, who serves as emcee and as an official for their school spelling bee. Mrs. Gross says Mrs. Wittmann is worthy of being highlighted because "her leadership established the bee when it was begun at our school and she continues to be a major part of this event." She further explains that Mrs. Wittmann maintains "an updated, accurate knowledge of the bee rules" and serves as "an authority for anyone who has a question." Beyond the administration the school's bee, however, Mrs. Wittmann has also instituted preparatory spelling clubs to ensure her students feel confident, and she greets each speller individually when she calls them forward to compete
In the classroom, Mrs. Wittmann also shines as Mrs. Gross and Margaret Idlas, Mrs. Wittmann's ELA co-teacher, are quick to share. Mrs. Idlas considers it a highlight of her career to work alongside Mrs. Wittmann: "She is an excellent English Language Arts teacher who has high expectations for all students, including the English Learner students in her room. She establishes rigor from the first day and provides the necessary support for all students to succeed." Mrs. Gross adds that Mrs. Wittmann has "the sweet teacher combination of professionalism and kindness.
The Scripps National Spelling Bee would like to thank Mrs. Wittmann for her dedication to her school's spelling bee program and her service in many different capacities. Her own love for the Bee has inspired her fellow teachers and the students in her classroom to also cherish the experience.
If you would like to nominate an educator for an upcoming "Teacher Feature," fill out this brief survey about the teacher you wish to nominate.