This November, the Office of the State Superintendent named Inspired Teacher Leader Paul Howard (‘14) as 2018 D.C. Teacher of the Year. Paul is a middle school social studies teacher at LaSalle-Backus Education Campus. Paul began his journey with Inspired Teaching by participating in the 2014 Institute to strengthen his practice and engage students to think critically and creatively about history. The following year, Paul developed cornerstone curriculum for DCPS in partnership with the Inspired Teaching Institute.
The D.C. Teacher of the Year title recognizes Paul for his outstanding leadership and commitment to student achievement. He is now in the running for National Teacher of the Year. Paul expressed that the title of D.C. Teacher of the Year “means a lot because my students feel validated that they are receiving a high quality education and that we’re doing something special.”
Paul challenges his students to solve complex problems and collaborate. As a history teacher, Paul focuses on “letting students do the work of a historian rather than just giving them the historical narrative.” Cosby Hunt, Senior Teaching & Learning Officer at Inspired Teaching admires that Paul is “serious about giving his students a voice.” Cosby explained that “after seeing the way Paul conducted seminars in his room, I knew I had to invite his students to Interschool Seminar and give them a chance to participate in student-facilitated conversations about social justice; they were the only middle school students invited, and they held their own with 11th and 12th graders!”
Inspired Teaching’s philosophy is embedded in Paul’s practice and dispositions. Paul elevates students as experts and fosters mutual respect in the classroom. Paul stated, “I truly value what kids think and how they process the information we’re going over in class and I want to give them ownership of the room by talking more than I do.” In addition to actively engage students as historians, Paul emphasizes the importance of authentically interacting with his students in order for them to be honest and authentic with him. Paul explained, “I’m straight forward with my students about who I am and reciprocate the kind of respect I want from them.”
Inspired Teaching is honored to celebrate Paul’s achievement and work with him to promote engagement-based education so more students learn how to think. We’re thrilled to have another Inspired Teacher recognized for their excellence in teaching. Inspired Teacher Jan Schuettpelz (‘15) is the 2017 DCPS Teacher of the Year and Inspired Teacher Milton Bryant (‘11) was awarded the DCPS Rubenstein Award for Highly Effective Teaching. To learn more about connecting with Inspired Teaching and ensuring every student has an Inspired Teacher, contact Tess Gann, Communications Associate at firstname.lastname@example.org.