Nothing about this school year has been normal. Some teachers are adapting to help, like this week’s Golden Apple Award winner.
Julia McCollum teaches music, choir and theater at James W. Parker Middle School in Edinboro, but not now.
The COVID-19 pandemic has her assisting in a language arts class. She loves middle school students but she misses all the things that music and theater provides young people.
“It just levels out the playing field because this is so brand new for everyone. When they get in, it’s crazy; they feel successful and they feel like they can be whoever they want to be. That makes me happy for them.” McCollum said.
Mrs. McCollum is six years into her teaching career. She grew up in the classroom; her mother is a teacher.
This week’s student nominators use like such as: engaging, encouraging, supportive and friendly to describe their favorite teacher.
“Whenever I go to her classroom, I always feel like its a safe environment. On top of being a great teacher, I feel that she’s a friend and mentor to me.” said Sarah Terese Petkac.
“She’s very good at establishing relationships with her students.” said Ella Beachly.
Her secret to success is simple… give it all you’ve got every day.
“Live every day like its your last, that’s how I go about it. My dad, he inspired me to have that mentality. My dad passed away of brain cancer awhile back. He would have been proud.” McCollum said.
“This teacher is instilling all those qualities that at an early stage these students will go out and make a difference.” said Mary Jo Melvin, PhD.