Silver Apple Awards

AZ Aspire Academy teacher presented with Silver Apple Award

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Joseph Muhlenkamp is the latest recipient of the 3TV Silver Apple Award to recognize outstanding teachers. Brenna Moline,nominated her teacher for the impact he has had on her life and the other students at AZ Aspire Academy.

To nominate a teacher, visit: AZFAmily/SilverApple. For more info about the school,visit:AZAspireAcademy?

1. City of Residence:  Phoenix, AZ

2. Why did you decide to get into teaching?

Growing up with a sister who had Down Syndrome and seeing the impact her teachers had on her made me respect and admire special education teachers.  Along with witnessing their acceptance of my sister, one of the most important role models in my life was my grandma who taught elementary for 15 years.  

3. What is your favorite teaching moment?

My favorite teaching moment would be that exact moment a student suddenly gets the lesson that is being taught.  Seeing the light bulb turn on and watching them be successful in something they thought they couldn’t understand, makes me appreciate the work I do that much more

4. How did you feel when you realized you won the Sliver Apple award?

I felt overjoyed and touched not only because I won the award, but because my students themselves are seeing the improvements they are making in their own life with the social and executive functioning skills I am teaching them.  

5. What do you plan on doing with the $500 grant?

I will be using this grant to further educate people about individuals who range in the special needs category.  For example, this grant specifically will be going towards expenses to be able to speak at next year’s international autism research conference where I will be presenting research findings on a project I have been working on at the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center.

6. Please share one of your best practices in the classroom with us. (We will use this to share with other teachers, etc.)

I teach consistently the same way each day.  No matter my personal drama or behavior of my student, I continue moving the student forward with a positive and encouraging attitude

7. What advice, if any, would you give to new teachers starting their career in the teaching industry?

I’d advise new teachers to accept and and appreciate every student they come in contact with.  While we are here to teach them, they also teach us many things about ourselves.  Also, treat every student the same!  No matter their behavior, no matter their mental handicap or learning disability, treat them all the same, with the same level of expectation and acceptance.    

8. What was the greatest life lesson you've learned through your teaching experience that has affected your personal life?

My greatest life lesson thus far while being a teacher is that a person can only evolve if they want that change and no matter how much you encourage or advocate for their success they will only change once they want to.

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