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The Great American Teach-Off: Last Week of Voting Begins Today! The Great American Teach-Off: Last Week of Voting Begins Today!
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The Great American Teach-Off: Last Week of Voting Begins Today!

by GOOD Partner

April 5, 2013

This post is brought to you by GOOD with support from University of Phoenix

GOOD and University of Phoenix are so close to finding the winners of the Great American Teach-Off 2013. Four finalists are left standing for grades K through 12 and voting closes this week.

From West Virginia to Minnesota to California, innovative teachers in grades K through 6 and grades 7 through 12 are competing to each win a $10,000 classroom grant. And starting at noon PT on April 1, they need your help to win.

You can vote once a day until midnight PT on April 7 to make your vote count. 

For week five, watch videos of teachers answering the question: What would I do with my $10,000 classroom grant? Then, vote and spread the word because this week is the last chance to help your favorite teacher win.

Check out the two finalist teachers for grades K through 6:

Sachiko Miyaji: Second Grade Teacher at Melrose Elementary in Los Angeles, California

An educator for 17 years, Sachiko Miyaji currently teaches second grade, holds a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership, and has served in many capacities as a classroom teacher, Instructional Coach for mathematics, and math team coach. Considered a leader among peers, she was instrumental in implementing the STEAM initiative in the primary grades at Melrose Elementary Math Science Technology Magnet in Los Angeles to inspire students to build, create, design, and problem solve through the Engineering Design Process (EDP), Project Based Learning and Cognitively Guided Instruction in Mathematics (CGI). Recognized as an outstanding, collaborative and reflective teacher in education, Miyaji recently earned certification as a National Board Certified Teacher (Class of 2012), and is currently a fellow in the Cotsen Foundation’s Art of Teaching program.

Madeleine Rogin: Kindergarten Teacher at Prospect Sierra School in El Cerrito, California

A Change Leader for Ashoka’s “Start Empathy” Initiative and Changemaker Schools Network, Madeleine Rogin teaches Kindergarten and Dance at Prospect Sierra School in El Cerrito, CA. In addition to teaching, Rogin serves as the Diversity and Inclusion Representative for her elementary school and recently delivered a talk on “Teaching About Martin Luther King, Jr. in Kindergarten” at the National People of Color Conference. The Peaceful Changemakers Curriculum that Rogin developed with her team of Kindergarten teachers is a framework that allows her students to gain a deeper understanding for issues around civil rights, social change, peace, and courage as well as to take action to solve problems. Teachers in first through fourth grades are now using the curriculum to teach their students about key figures in the civil rights movement. Rogin is devoted to helping young children gain the skills and knowledge to make positive changes in their communities.

Check out the two finalist teachers for grades 7 through 12:

Christopher Leonard Pennington: Life Skills Teacher at Thomas Edison High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Christopher Pennington is a Learning Disabilities teacher and teaches Employment and Independent Living at Edison High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He provides hands-on learning experiences for his students to prepare them for the real world, whether that means learning job skills or practical life skills. His program is currently focused on offering classes in cooking and nutrition, bike mechanics, woodshop, and greenhouse gardening. He has integrated business, marketing, and design principles into his lessons, challenging students beyond their regimented classes. Most importantly, his lessons get students involved in their community so that they contribute to society in valuable ways.

Everett Jeremy Rodriguez: Band, Theater, and Music Appreciation Teacher at Liberty High School in Glen Daniel, West Virginia

Everett Jeremy Rodriguez teaches Theater and Music at Liberty High School in Glen Daniel, West Virginia where he also directs the Liberty High School World Percussion Ensemble. His students are now collaborating to produce music videos of their own original compositions. In Rodriguez’s classroom, students develop personal digital portfolios, write scripts, direct, participate in improvisational acting, and perform in full-length stage productions, world music ensemble, student rock bands, and world drumming clinics. Students submit projects digitally, learning from failure and reflecting on success.

Let's help two deserving teachers continue their good work, one student at a time. Vote for the teacher that you think is making the biggest difference.

You can join the conversation with this challenge on Twitter at @GOODmkr and @TeachOff via #teachoff.

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