Achin-O’Malley agreed. “I teach them to be their own best learner,” she said. “And I am giving them the beginning steps for that.”
MacDougall said that having clear structure and expectations in the classroom helps to keep her students focused.
“They know what to do to be successful in the classroom,” she said.
As for keeping herself motivated, MacDougall relies on her passion.
“I truly love my subject,” she said. “When kids get it, it is fantastic.”
She said that seeing students through four years of school is especially rewarding. “Seeing high school students mature is the best part,” she said.
Although Achin-O’Malley teaches much younger students, she loves seeing them mature as well, even after they have left her classroom. “I see graduates who are driving, going to college and starting their careers,” she said. “The rewards are triple and quadruple fold.”
Krusemark was pleased that a physical education and wellness teacher was recognized by her peers.
“I feel that [physical education teachers] are just as important, because of all the things we do that compliment what others do in the classroom,” she said. “We do a lot of life skills that round out the entire child.”
Because of her strong beliefs in the importance of her subject, there is one word that Krusemark does not allow in her classroom - gym.
“In years past people thought of gym teachers as just throwing a ball, but we do a lot of physical fitness and skills,” Krusemark said. “We’ve been a long way.”
Each recipient of the Molin Award is given $500 and a silver bowl. And, as they continue teaching, the passing of knowledge goes both ways.
“They’re teaching me too,” said Achin-O’Malley.