Michele Law knew what she was going to do with her life by the time she was in kindergarten: She would become a teacher. Not only has she achieved her childhood dream, but she’s skyrocketed to the top of the class in Canyons School District.
Law, who teaches third grade at Sprucewood Elementary School, was named the 2014 Canyons School District Teacher of the Year at an April 22, 2014 Board of Education Teacher of the Year Reception and Recognitions event. As part of her award, Law received a $1,000 check, plus another $1,000 for Sprucewood Elementary, courtesy of the Canyons School District Education Foundation.
Yet perhaps the most valuable prize for Law is her students, and watching them rise to the challenge and become more prepared for college and careers even as third-graders.
“Teachers do not become teachers so they will get rich, so they will get glory or power … they do it because they want to make a difference and it’s something they love. You don’t find someone staying as a teacher if they don’t love it. I love it,” Law said.
The Board of Education honored Teachers of the Year from all 46 schools at its event. It also recognized the following finalists for the District Teacher of the Year award:
The finalists received $500 checks from the Foundation, which this year tripled its investment in the Teacher of the Year program.
The Board also honored two other semi-finalists for the top prize:
School teachers of the year were announced districtwide in surprise celebrations March 28, 2014. Winners were nominated by their peers, leaders, parents and students, and selected by their school selection committees. The Canyons Teacher of the Year was selected following classroom observations and additional interviews by District academic leaders.
Law is known for her genuine care for her colleagues and students, and going the extra mile to make sure they know it.
“She cares about her students, and that shows through in how she interacts with them, in how she cares for them. If there’s a sick student, she calls them and follows up with them until they get back,” Sprucewood Principal Garth Anderson said. “She also communicates well with parents and makes them a part of the learning environment.”
Law uses a highly effective positive behavior program in her classroom to help students become more engaged in the learning process.
“If you were to walk into Michele’s classroom, you would see students doing all of the time,” said Achievement Coach Tami Dautel. “They’re actively engaged, they’re participating, they’re on the computers … they’re writing, and engaged in practice stations.”
“The most important determining factor for a child’s success is what they think about themselves and what they themselves are capable of doing,” Law said. “I feel like the most important thing I can do as a teacher is capitalize on that, and make sure every child in my classroom believes they can succeed.”
Law, who also is involved in her School Community Council and Building Leadership Team, is Canyons’ nominee for Utah Teacher of the Year. All teachers of the year will be honored at halftime at the May 17 Canyons Night at Real Salt Lake game. Discount tickets are available to the Canyons community. For each discount ticket sold, Real Salt Lake will donate $5 to the Foundation to benefit students.
Real Salt Lake and the Foundation are among several sponsors and community supporters of the Canyons Teacher of the Year program, including:
– The Horace Mann Companies
– Farmer’s Insurance
– Fabulous Freddy’s
– Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort
– Anytime Fitness
– Region 17 PTA
– Specialized Embroidery
– Nothing Bundt Cakes
– Jordan Credit Union
– Chick-fil-A South Towne
– Costco, Sandy Store
– Sandy City
– World’s Finest Chocolates