Silver Apple Awards

Desert Horizon Elementary teacher honored with Silver Apple Award

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Jodi Daly, Desert Horizon Teacher Jodi Daly, Desert Horizon Teacher

Desert Horizon Elementary fifth grade teacher Jodi Daly was presented with the Silver Apple Award, which is given to teachers for their dedication in the classroom and commitment to excellence. 

City of Residence: Tolleson

Why did you decide to get into teaching? I have always wanted to be a teacher. When I was in elementary school, I used to ask my teachers for extra worksheets, so I could go home and play school with my younger sisters. I also had great teachers throughout elementary school and high school who inspired me to go into the profession.

What is your favorite teaching moment? I love when I have made an impact on a student enough that they continue to keep in touch with me after they leave my classroom. I have been invited to graduations, birthday parties, weddings and baby showers. It makes me feel very honored that former students share their special occasions with me. 

How did you feel when you realized you won the Silver Apple Award? I was very shocked and extremely honored that a student took the time to nominate me.

What do you plan on doing with the $500 grant? I will use the money to purchase some digital cameras for my students to use. I love photography, and my students have an interest as well. Each month I add pictures to a timeline I have displayed in my classroom.  The kids enjoy looking back at memories from the school year. I will also purchase some Scramble Square puzzles. My students love the challenge of solving these.

Please share one of your best practices in the classroom with us. I have an "I'm Done. Now What?" container in my classroom. Students who finish early can choose an independent activity to work on while others are still working. I swap out the activities, so students have a variety of items to choose from throughout the year. Examples of activities are Scramble Square puzzles, Sudoku puzzles, trivia cards, magnetic poetry and flash cards.

What advice, if any, would you give to new teachers starting their career in the teaching industry? Greet your students every day as they enter your classroom. You never know how much a hug or a handshake will brighten the beginning of a child's day. If a student looks sad, this is a great opportunity to ask if everything is OK. 

What was the greatest life lesson you've learned through your teacher experience that has affected your personal life? Teaching is not just about data, lessons and standards. Teaching is also about being there for your students. I have had students who have had some very difficult experiences in their young lives. We have to be there to listen and comfort as well. 

Mrs. Jodi Daly teaches fifth-grade math and science at Desert Horizon Elementary School in west Phoenix.

Andrea Rodriguez’s short essay was selected out of many qualified nominations received by the judging committee.

She wrote:

“I think Mrs. Daly deserves the Silver Apple Award because every day she wakes up super early to be at school and stays late. Mrs. Daly even buys a lot of nice things for the class. My personal favorite is the quote of the day for science facts which is very helpful because I love science. She is a very fair teacher, vote Mrs. Daly.”

Andrea says Mrs. Daly has taught her to love math and science so much that she wants to be a doctor when she grows up.

“It’s a real honor. You don’t realize how much you impact students every day and to hear that really touched my heart. It is a very challenging job but it’s also very rewarding. You touch a lot of kids and make a difference every day in a child’s life,” said Mrs. Daly.

 Mrs. Daly says teaching isn’t just about data, lessons and standards, it’s also about being there for students. Many throughout her career had very difficult experiences in their young lives. Daly believes it’s important to be there to listen to students and comfort them.

The Dairy Council of AZ, a sponsor of the Silver Apple Award, also presented Mrs. Daly with class curriculum, a gift bag and $500, which she plans to use to buy digital cameras for her classroom.

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