FACES: Barb Rood among finalists for North Dakota Teacher of the Year
During the past 35 years Barb Rood has taught six different elementary school grades. Her preference? "Whatever I'm currently teaching is my favorite," Rood said. Rood's love for her job as a Phoenix Elementary School Elementary teacher is eviden...
During the past 35 years Barb Rood has taught six different elementary school grades.
"Whatever I'm currently teaching is my favorite," Rood said.
Rood's love for her job as a Phoenix Elementary School Elementary teacher is evident in the way she performs her job, said Darryl Tunseth, Phoenix Elementary School principal.
Last spring, Tunseth nominated Rood for North Dakota Teacher of the Year for 2011. She was chosen as one of four finalists for the honor, which will be announced Thursday morning at the North Dakota Education Association convention in Bismarck.
"It's an honor to be nominated and an honor to be a finalist," Rood said. It's not the first time she's been honored for her teaching. In 1993, Rood received the former Belmont Elementary School Principal's Award and in 1992 and 2005 she received the U. S. Department of Education's Blue Ribbon Schools Award.
"She's just a phenomenal teacher," Tunseth said. "It's not just a job for her. It's a passion."
It was the enthusiasm of Rood's own third-grade teacher that encouraged her to pursue a degree in education, Rood said.
"I had a teacher named Maxine Rasmussen.... She's the No. 1 factor that made me want to be a teacher; her classiness and presence, how she was well-respected."
An experience during a high school speech class also weighed in on Rood's decision to teach. One of the exercises during the speech class required going to an elementary school and reading aloud to children, Rood recalled.
That's when she discovered "I really enjoy doing this," she said. After high school, Rood attended UND, graduating with degrees in early childhood and elementary education. She began teaching kindergarten in 1975 at Ben Franklin Elementary School, then taught several different grades at elementary schools in Bismarck for a few years before returning to Grand Forks.
This year Rood has 22 kindergarteners in her class.
"I started my career in kindergarten and probably will end it in kindergarten." That's fine with her. She's simply happy teaching, whatever the elementary grade level
"I work hard to do as much as I can. When I was a reading specialist I loved doing that and now that I'm doing kindergarten, I love doing that.
Love of teaching, learning
"I really love to teach them reading and I think one of the most rewarding things is to look at these 5 and 6 year olds and see that they've gotten it." Rood also spends a lot of time singing, dancing and doing movements with her students.
"It's challenging, but it's rewarding. I try to teat them like my children or grandchildren. I just think it's the best job when you can be around kids all day. They're so excited about learning."
Rood also is excited about learning. She has been involved in many professional learning committees over the years including Response to Intervention and the Building Level Support Team.
She also embraces technology and works to incorporate it into her classroom. For example, she uses a laptop computer, document camera and projector to teach some of her lessons.
"It's a whole 'nother teaching tool. I think that's what keeps me motivated, is always having some new techniques and technologies to learn."
Rood has maintained her dedication to students and her passion for her job throughout her 35 year teaching career, Tunseth said.
"She still has the compassion and desire to make a difference. She goes above and beyond the confines of the school building, lots of community relationship building, genuine interest in them and their lives.
"She takes her job seriously and knows how powerful it is."
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