Ball State graduate Teresa Gross, who earned her master of arts in education (MAE) in elementary education, says her recent teaching awarded from President Obama is testament to her mentors and “the amazing students who fuel my passion every day.”
“Receiving this award provides validation of my dedication and commitment to providing quality, authentic science experiences for my students.”
ELEMENTARY SCIENCE TEACHER IS PORTRAIT OF TEACHING EXCELLENCE
A teacher at Westwood Elementary in Greenwood, Indiana, Teresa Gross conducts a whirlwind of a class that stimulates fourth and fifth graders on multiple levels. They toy with experiments in hand. They brainstorm out loud in small cohorts.
At the center of the whirlwind is the urgent voice of the teacher: “As scientists we are never done! We are always ready to modify!”
A graduate of Ball State University’s all-online master of arts in education (MAE) in elementary education, Gross is the portrait of an effective classroom teacher.
INVITED TO THE WHITE HOUSE
Recognition of her classroom performance has come from students, her school district, the state of Indiana, and the White House, where in 2014 she received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching from President Obama. This is the highest honor given by the U.S. government to K-6 math and science teachers.
Gross is still communicating with her award-winning math and science colleagues through social media. Similar networking with classmate-educators around the U.S. was a highlight of her online master’s program, which enabled her to learn classroom trends from other parts of the country. She liked the fact that she could work independently, yet know that professors were available when she needed them.
TEACHING THE NEXT GENERATION
Gross believes it’s her job to equip the next generation of teachers who will prepare their students to be global leaders. Of the relevancy of Ball State’s degree to her teaching mission, she says, “The curriculum was meaningful and authentic to my needs in my classroom.”
It’s the future scientists, future businessmen, future nurses, as well as the future teachers, who, Gross says, fuel her passion to teach. “Watching these students blossom and learn to be resourceful, independent life-long learners is the best part of my job,” she says.