Jamie Hoover, For The Miami Student

Miami University senior Mandie Bryant received the 2010 Ohio’s Outstanding Student Teacher Award from The Association of Teacher Educators (OATE) in Dublin, Ohio, March 17.

The Ohio Association of Teacher Educators gives out this award once a year to a student teacher that exemplifies the exceptional ability to grow and excel as an educator. Countless student teachers are nominated from schools all over Ohio, however, there is only one winner.

“It felt tremendous, words cant even describe it,” said Bryant on receiving this award. “It’s not just about the honor, but it helps build confidence that I can use what I have learned and successfully apply it”.

According to Bryant, one of the best parts of receiving the award was being with the other nominees because they got to discuss different teaching techniques and experiences, in order to help each other grow as educators.

The applicants for the Outstanding Student Teacher Award are nominated by their respected student teacher supervisors who are responsible for monitoring, teaching and instructing the student teachers. According to Bryant, her student teacher supervisor, Madeline Wood, nominated her for this prestigious award.

According to Bryant, after the nominations are made, the board at the OATE reviews the applicants, their work and personal recommendations in order to determine a winner.

Melissa Milan, a special education major and a previous student teacher at Evamere Elementary School in Hudson, Ohio, understands how difficult it can be to be successful in educating young children.

“It’s much more difficult than teaching adolescents and teenagers,” Milan said. “Young children tend to be more impatient, impulsive and have shorter attention-spans.”

Bryant specializes in the education of young children in kindergarten through fifth grade and has held numerous student teaching positions in the past. Bryant was nominated for this award for her work at the Fairfield Kindergarten Center in Fairfield, Ohio.

In the fall of 2008, Bryant taught at the Goddard Pre-School in Fairfield, Ohio. In the fall of 2009, Bryant student taught in two different schools and in two different grades at the same time. Bryant taught the third grade at Pleasant Run Elementary School in Cincinnati as well as a first grade class at Marshall Elementary School in Oxford.

Ellen Hill, Director of Clinical Experiences at Miami University, works both directly and indirectly with getting student teaching jobs for Miami students and has observed Bryant’s teaching technique first-hand.

“Bryant is very easy to work with, she is very enthusiastic and organized,” Hill said. “Her enthusiasm and dedication to teaching is what sets her apart.”

Bryant is currently finishing her student teaching of a first grade class at Glendale Elementary School. In the future, Bryant plans on getting her master’s, but before that Bryant plans on finding a full time job teaching kindergarten.

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