Q&A with Carmel Clay teacher of the year: Janice Mitchener

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By: Jaclyn Chen <jchen@hilite.org>

What was your reaction when you found out that you were Carmel clay Teacher of the year?

“I was totally surprised. When Carmel Clay Teacher of the Year was announced, I felt very honored to be selected because there’s so many great teachers here at Carmel. Then, when I made it into the Top Ten, I was extremely excited.”

Why did you decide to become a math Teacher?

“I had a very positive experience in high school and my teacher had a very positive influence on me in high school and so I wanted to model that. I wanted to be a math teacher because it was something that I find challenging to myself and I was good at it.”

What do you think is the best part of teaching?

“The best part of teaching is that I get to know so many students and help them to prepare for their college education. I feel great accomplishment when I see students in my classroom succeeding and understanding the mathematics that I know they are going to need in college.”

I heard that you did something with Texas Instrument. Can you tell us a little about that?

“ I am a regional instructor for an organization called Teachers Teaching with Technology and that’s sponsored by Texas Instrument. I am a trained instructor so that I can train other teachers on the latest Texas Instrument technology or how to use that Texas Instrument technology in the classroom.”

What is your best memory as a teacher?

“I will never forget a student who must have just printed out his college grades, running into my room, so proud that he had to show me his report card because he was doing so well in math. It’s memories like that where I have students coming back and saying ‘I really did good at college, thanks to what you did.’ ”

Have you ever worked as anything other than a teacher?

“ Years ago, I worked for Kodak during the summer during the Pan Am games and was the person that worked in the photo center and worked with the slide machines. You know, do little things every now and then to break up the monotony.”