Marguerite Izzo, New York State Teacher of the Year 2007
I believe that, as recognized and awarded teacher leaders, we have a responsibility to constantly give back to the profession that has given us so much. I live this belief through both my practice and my advocacy. This year, I am focusing most strongly on practice.
This school year, my district underwent some restructuring. I am in a different school with new colleagues and we got off to a bit of a rocky start. Supplies were not delivered, nerves were frayed. There was a need for strong teacher leadership, for modeling professionalism, while working with administration to get us on the right track. I stepped into that void and have been serving as a teacher leader, providing support, mentoring, and problem-solving leadership.
One of my great joys is in my role as a teacher preparer. I teach prospective teachers as an adjunct professor. Helping to shape understanding of the profession, and nurture growing teachers gives me great satisfaction.
I strongly believe that as teachers, we never stop growing our craft. I lead professional development for my district, as a Teacher Center Director, writing the annual grant for funding for professional development district-wide and setting up the courses our teachers request. I am currently leading a course on the ELA CCSS during which we will explore ways to incorporate the new Standards in our lesson planning.
The practice of teaching is organic; it must always be nurtured. I see this as my key focus for this year.
Ms. Marguerite Izzo, whose teaching career spans over 30 years, is a full-time fifth grade teacher, specializing in English Language Arts, in the Malverne School District, Malverne, New York.
Ms. Izzo is an adjunct professor of education at Adelphi University, and co-director of the Malverne Teacher Center. She is a member of the Teacher Leader Standards Consortium and has been the single teacher member of the delegation representing the United States at the International Summit on the Teaching Profession for the past two years.