A preschool teacher from Winfield, Kansas has been named The 2020 National Teacher of the Year! Her name is Tabatha Rosproy. Mrs. Tabatha, as she’s known to her students, runs a preschool program housed in Cumbernauld village in Winfield, Kansas.
Rosproy says The Little Vikes program, a unique learning environment built on the interaction between the children and the grandparent volunteers provides “the most joyful experience that you can imagine,” The students “get read to one-on-one every single day, which I couldn’t do alone before. They are connected to people who are older than them, who have differing abilities, and it has built so much empathy in their hearts,” she said. Teaching empathy and how to understand your own emotions is something Rosproy prioritizes.
“I think that social emotional learning is one of the most important things that we can offer our students in preschool and at all ages. It is something that every person needs and something that I plan to advocate for as National Teacher of the Year,” she said.
Rosproy said during the pandemic, she has discovered that “learning can happen anywhere at any time.”
“A lot of what I’ve done is one-on-one video calls with my students and their families, and I have been on a tractor ride, I have seen a kid on a horse, I’ve been jumping on a bed, I have been all around families’ houses, inside closets, and we are doing learning at that time,” she said.
She also offered some advice to parents who are struggling with remote learning during the pandemic.
“You are probably doing a lot of educational things already in your day,” she said. “Remember the most important thing that you can do with your students and your kids is to connect with them through meaningful play and activities that they enjoy, ask them open-ended questions that extend their learning and make sure they have opportunities to read.”