‘It’s amazing’: Educator still stunned after being named D.C.’s 2018 Teacher of the Year
WASHINGTON (ABC7) —
The young audience was quick to rise at Walker-Jones Education Campus to give a standing ovation for an educator who has spent a career standing for her students.
English language arts teacher Tumeka Coleman was recently announced as D.C. Public Schools’ 2018 Teacher of the Year.
"It's amazing. It's an experience that I never thought I would get,” Coleman told ABC7 News. “I am still in shock."
Coleman received the surprising news on Dec. 8. In a video, the third-grade teacher told students, "I am humbled. I am overwhelmed. This is not about me. I couldn't have done it without you guys."
D.C. education officials stopped by the school to announce Coleman had been selected for the honor. The Standing Ovation Excellence Award carries a prize of $10,000.
“I was like so speechless,” 9-year-old Prayjah Green said. “I was like, ‘Whoa!’"
Walker Jones principal Clinton Turner said two words come to mind when he thinks of Coleman: commitment and excellence. He describes her teaching style as "Definitely prepared. It's definitely structured. I thought about this the night before, the week before. I know exactly where my children are, I know exactly what my children need.'"
Said Coleman, "I'm the one that would get in the mud with them. I would stay late. I would come in early and just make sure I would provide the students with the support they need."
The educator has spent three of her 18 years in teaching at Walker-Jones. Her supporters say her presence is helping improve student performance.
“I think my teacher is hard working,” third-grader Jayden Anderson said.
Coleman will be honored at an awards ceremony in D.C. on Feb. 8.