Riverside Public School teacher Karen Bell-Scott is one of five teachers to receive a distinguished teacher award from the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario.
Bell-Scott was nominated by fellow Riverside teacher Steve Coe, who praised her commitment to education, both inside and outside the classroom.
“I’ve wanted to nominate Karen since I started teaching at Riverside [four years ago],” Coe said.
Bell-Scott is a proponent of teaching learning critical pathways, which aims to develop high-order thinking skills in children. In her Grade 1 classroom, Bell-Scott works with the students to develop models as a class, which the students use as guidance to work in pairs and then individually. The intent is to teach children to go beyond the surface to a deeper, more thoughtful response and make inferences and connections.
Outside the classroom, she has taken part in Ministry of Education workshops and has also done sessions with principals and mentored at a couple of schools in Waterloo Region.
Her interest in mentoring stems from a desire to improve as a teacher, Bell-Scott said.
“I want to do the best I can do and have the greatest impact I can on my students.”
Bell-Scott has been teaching for 15 years, the last 11 at Riverside. She has taught a number of different grades, but prefers Grade 1.
“They’re such eager learners. They’re like little sponges; they take in whatever you can give them.”
Coe didn’t tell Bell-Scott that he had nominated her; she only learned about the award at a school assembly last week, when Coe announced that she’d been selected.
The award will be presented June 10 at ETFO’s awards and retirement dinner.